The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has opened the doors to Twickenham’s redeveloped East Stand, which aims to set new standards in corporate hospitality.

Developed at a cost of £81m (€92.1m/$105.8m), the new-look East Stand at the home of English rugby was given a soft launch ahead of its formal opening for England’s clash against South Africa next month during Twickenham’s staging of a Premiership club clash between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

The match saw four of the stand’s five new restaurants accessible to guests. The 18-month project has seen over 6,700sqm of contemporary event space added, providing new room for 4,500 hospitality ticket-holders.

The revamp brings all corporate hospitality at Twickenham under one roof for the first time, with the RFU gaining control of the venture. Ansell Henry, director of sales at English Rugby Hospitality, told the Evening Standard newspaper that it is hoped the move will cut down on “black market” sales of bogus hospitality packages.

Henry said: “The licensed operators were beneficial but there was a separate market we were concerned about with rogue operators…it would be too bold to say this will end black market sales but I hope it makes a difference.”

Twickenham announced last week that the new-look stadium will be revealed at an international launch to global buyers during the IBTM World event in Barcelona. The event, which will take place on November 28, will see the Twickenham events team challenge global event planners to look at new ways of organising meetings, events, banquets and product launches.

The new East Stand offers six floors of creative event space that not only provide new-found match day hospitality options, but also aims to add unexpected and dynamic settings that go far beyond a simple conference or banqueting space.

Image: Twickenham Stadium