Fan Experience

IRFU opts against alcohol ban at Aviva Stadium

Irish rugby union fans will still be able to drink alcohol in the stands at Aviva Stadium after a survey found that the majority of supporters would not be in favour of a ban.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) carried out research during matches against South Africa and Australia in November as part of plans to enhance the experience at Aviva Stadium.

A total of 744 supporters over the age of 18 were surveyed before and after the matches, with access to food and beverage outlets a particular focus of the research.

Almost seven in 10 (68%) supporters claimed they would not support a ban on alcohol being brought into the stadium bowl during a match, with the number rising to 74% when the likely negative impact of such a move is explained.

The survey also found that 68% of fans across both games planned to have an alcoholic beverage during the match. One in four supporters felt people getting up and coming back with drinks during the game “greatly diminished” their experience of the game.

As a result, the IRFU has decided to not restrict supporters’ ability to drink alcohol in their seats. The governing body will be introducing other measures to enhance the match-day experience, starting during the upcoming Six Nations.

Actions that will be trialled will include new protocols for access and egress to the bowl in certain locations, and running a multi-channel communications campaign for fans to be mindful of fellow supporters when leaving and returning to their seats.

Other actions will include engaging with the stadium bar and catering operators to improve pre-match and half-time service times, and encouraging security and stewards to be respectful of others around re-entry to the bowl.

Last year, the Welsh Rugby Union announced that bars at Principality Stadium would be shut for half of each match during the Six Nations as part of plans to address anti-social behaviour at the venue.