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Leinster Rugby set for move to Aviva Stadium, Croke Park

Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland

Featured image credit: Leinster Rugby

Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland

Featured image credit: Leinster Rugby

United Rugby Championship (URC) club Leinster Rugby has announced it will relocate to Aviva Stadium and Croke Park for the 2024-25 season amid redevelopment work at its RDS Arena.

Due to a planned regeneration of the RDS Arena an alternative option for the season ahead was required. As a result, Dublin-based Leinster said it will play the majority of its matches in the URC and the European Champions Cup at Aviva Stadium, with the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Croke Park also hosting a “number of games” across the season.

Games in the Women’s Interprovincial Championship will continue to be played at Energia Park, in Donnybrook. Leinster, which is currently said to have 12,800 season-ticket holders, has also unveiled a revamped ticketing strategy as it prepares for its move to the two bigger venues.

A price freeze has been placed on season tickets for 2024-25. A new cheaper entry level ticket has been introduced that is designed to allow more supporters than ever to watch Leinster games on a season-long basis; along with a new family ticket, for a family of five; and a new student ticket offering.

Leinster has confirmed that season ticket holders that purchase a ticket for next season will also have priority purchase on tickets that become available when Leinster Rugby return to play at the RDS Arena.

While Leinster has previously played one match at Croke Park, a 2009 Champions Cup semi-final clash against Munster, the club is no stranger to Aviva Stadium. It currently plays its home URC match against Munster at the venue, along with one Champions Cup pool game and home knockout European fixtures.

It defeated La Rochelle 40-13 in the Champions Cup quarter-final on Saturday and will return to Aviva Stadium to face Northampton Saints in the semi-final on May 4.

Leinster Rugby CEO, Shane Nolan, said: “This is an exciting update for everyone associated with Leinster Rugby and we look forward to supporting the RDS in its ambition to regenerate.

“It will be a season like no other, of that there will be no doubt, and while we acknowledge that there will be some inconvenience in any stadium move, we are also very excited to bring a full season of Leinster Rugby matches to venues of the quality of the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park.

“We very much appreciate in advance the ongoing support of our season ticket holders as we navigate the road ahead during the RDS regeneration and we look forward to an exciting chapter for Leinster Rugby at the Aviva Stadium, and in time, a return to an even better RDS Arena.”

The Royal Dublin Society, owner of RDS Arena, was given the go-ahead for a €50m (£42.8m/$53.2m) expansion of the stadium back in August. The RDS submitted a new planning application to Dublin City Council for the redevelopment of the stadium in June. The project will raise the capacity of the stadium from 18,500 to 21,500.