Leinster Rugby have taken the “unprecedented step” of cancelling their season ticket offering for 2020/21 as the province grapples with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing requirements which are likely to be in place for the foreseeable future.
Season ticket sales are the financial cornerstone of the business model at a professional club level. Leinster have grown their number of season ticket holders on a consistent basis over a long period of time. The number currently stands at 12,800 but the RDS will not be able to accommodate all of these people when it reopens for home games.
Season tickets for 2020/21 were due to go on sale to current season ticket holders in late March but that renewal window was postponed due to the crisis enveloping the country, the globe at large, and the complete shutdown it brought about for sport everywhere.
Leinster have instead opted to launch a new Official Membership scheme as of next Monday, June 8, which will offer priority access to to any matchday tickets that do become available during the 2020/21 season, and other benefits, to those who sign up.
Current season ticket holders will be offered first bite.
“Cancelling our season ticket offering is an unprecedented step,” explained Leinster CEO Mick Dawson on Monday morning, “and one that will have a significant financial impact on our organisation, but we feel it is the right decision to make.
“It has been a very difficult time for everyone and nobody knows what the future will look like but, as a business, we have to make decisions now based on the best information available to us.
“The priority now is to finish the 2019/20 season, look after those that have tickets outstanding and then hopefully start the 2020/21 season.
“Our supporters have been a crucial part of our success over the years and it is also vital that when we all come back from this, and we will come back, that we have a vibrant supporter base to welcome to the RDS Arena. We feel that by securing their right to purchase their seat for 2021/22, that our supporters will take some comfort from the steps we have taken.”
The province has also announced that current season ticket holders will receive credit for the three remaining games of the 2019/20 season while fans who purchased one-off tickets for the games with Saracens, Munster, Zebre, or Cardiff Blues will be refunded.
Munster announced late last week that they would await further details from the Guinness PRO14 on any rearranged fixtures for the current campaign before updating supporters on “all possible options regarding tickets” going forward.
Ulster decided to delay their season ticket sales back in mid-March amid the ongoing uncertainty.