The Aviva Stadium is due to host Ireland's games against Japan and USA on 3 and 10 July respectively. Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Pilot Events

Fans to make long-awaited Aviva Stadium return for Ireland's summer Tests

A combined total of 9,000 spectators will attend next month’s games against Japan and USA.

THE IRISH RUGBY Football Union has announced that a limited number of spectators will be permitted to attend Ireland’s forthcoming Test matches at the Aviva Stadium.

Subject to ongoing approval, the games are to form part of the government’s outdoor pilot sporting event programme.

The meeting with Japan on 3 July will be open to 3,000 fans, while approximately 12% of the stadium’s capacity will be in use on 10 July as 6,000 are set to be present for the clash with USA.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the government for their approval of these two international rugby fixtures as pilot events,” IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said. “It has been a long time since the Ireland team have played in front of live, albeit limited, support at the Aviva Stadium.

“These games are initial positive steps on the journey back to hopefully full stadia across the island. The numbers are small, but I am sure spectators will make themselves heard in cheering on the team.

“We look to deliver two successful, safe events as our part in the government-approved sporting and cultural pilots in the months ahead.

“We hope that this programme, if successful, will put us all in a strong position to welcome back larger numbers of fans to the Aviva Stadium in the autumn when we will have three international rugby fixtures, including games against New Zealand and Argentina.”

Owing to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, spectators have been unable to attend games at the Lansdowne Road venue since Ireland’s Six Nations win against Wales on 8 February, 2020. 

In a statement issued today, the IRFU said: “In recognition of their contribution to society, the IRFU will allocate 300 tickets for the Japan game to frontline workers, while all clubs will be represented by club presidents, who will be invited guests of IRFU president Des Kavanagh.

“For the USA game, an allocation of circa 25% of the reduced capacity will go to rugby clubs via their branch ticket office. Any tickets not taken up by clubs will be reallocated by the branch ticket office. All tickets are priced at €40 for both games

“As these are pilot events, the remaining tickets will be allocated in reduced numbers to players’ partners and family members, long-term ticket-holders and IRFU sponsors and media partners.

“In line with government guidelines, supporter safety is a key focus of these reopening pilots. All attendees will be required to adhere to strict Covid safety protocols in order to ensure the success of these events.”

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