The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has confirmed that Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will welcome 8,200 fans for each of Wales’ summer international fixtures against Canada and Argentina next month.
It will mark the first time in over 14 months that supporters will watch international rugby at the stadium, which has a capacity of 74,500.
Wales will play Canada on July 3 before hosting Argentina on July 10 and July 17. Tickets will go on sale to WRU Member Clubs from today (Tuesday), with a limited allocation of tickets made available per club, reflecting the reduced capacity.
A commitment date for clubs has been set for June 21, after which point the WRU will move forward with priority on-sale for debenture holders, premium members and, if tickets are available, official members. Any remaining tickets will be offered for public sale at the end of June, with tickets to be sold in a maximum of pairs to extended household bubbles.
The announcement comes after the Welsh government last week confirmed that fans will be able to return to outdoor sports stadia. The first phase of the move to alert level one means that larger outdoor organised gatherings and events, such as concerts, football matches and other sporting activities, can go ahead for up to 4,000 people standing and 10,000 people seated.
Mark Williams, Principality Stadium manager, said: “This has required months of complex planning, but we’re delighted to be in a position where we can finally welcome fans back into the stadium.
“The layout of our stadia and the public concourses determines the maximum capacity we can hold in line with Welsh government’s requirements of a two-metre social distance. With the maximum number of spectators set at 10,000 by Welsh government, for us, this means a maximum capacity of 8,200 fans with the required social distancing measures in place.
“We’re still working through a number of factors such as phased entry and due to the limitations within the concourses we’re unable to open the internal food and beverage outlets to fans or serve food and beverages within our hospitality boxes.
“We continue to work with Welsh government throughout the process and collaboratively with all key stakeholders from Cardiff Council, Transport for Wales and Public Health Wales to deliver these events successfully and safely.”
The impending return of fans has brought forward the WRU’s roll-out of its 100% digital ticketing strategy. The digital ticketing will enable effective COVID-19 tracking and tracing and will also form part of a guiding set of principles which supporters will need to follow upon purchasing a ticket.
Supporters will be required to maintain a social distance of two metres and masks must be worn upon entry and when moving around the stadium. Masks can be removed once seated and supporters will be encouraged to use the hand sanitiser stations positioned throughout the stadium’s public areas.
The WRU is hopeful that Principality Stadium can open at full capacity for autumn international matches in October and November.
Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency