The Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed that the alcohol-free zone at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will remain in place following a successful trial period.
The WRU first launched the initiative during Wales’ autumn internationals against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa last November.
Hundreds of thousands of fans were polled on the merits of the zone, with some 40,000 fans purchasing specified tickets for the area.
An enhanced and upgraded zone will now be a permanent fixture at all WRU-owned events at Principality Stadium, starting with Wales’ match against the Barbarians in November. The zone will also be in place as Wales seeks to defend its Six Nations title next year.
Existing debenture holders will be given the chance to relocate to the new area, which will have a capacity of 4,200.
The zone was not trialled during this year’s Six Nations, with the WRU stating that these sold-out matches were deemed to reveal less about purchasing choices and intentions. Reasons relating to timing were also cited.
The WRU added that it plans on investing in infrastructure and resource to further enhance the fan experience at Principality Stadium.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said: “Our Alcohol Free Zone trial has proved that there is a demand out there for this kind of offer and also that the current 4,200 seat provision is meeting that demand, so we are delighted to announce the Zone will be here to stay at all future Welsh rugby internationals and WRU-owned events at Principality Stadium.”
He added: “We also will be further investing in our current offering and infrastructure over the coming months to ensure that it meets the expectations of a Championship audience. This means improved choice in terms of food and non-alcoholic beverages and installing new concourse outlets in order to present a wider range of options for supporters in the zone.
“We know that the AFZ will now be a permanent fixture, but we are not going to stop here – as our customer expectations evolve so will our offering. We are determined to listen to our customers and examine all available options to continue to improve our customer experience.”