10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The price per ticket will be 9000, payable in the form of a 900 deposit with the balance due following the allocation of tickets this coming July.
The quantity of tickets allocated is approximately 4,000. Existing ticket holders will not be allocated more tickets than they currently hold, with no guarantee that applicants currently in possession of multiple places will be accommodated.
On completion of the offer to existing holders, should tickets remain available, they will then be offered to the wider rugby public.
The IRFU has negotiated an attractive finance scheme with permanent tsb which is available to all applicants and will allow payment over a number of years.
Commenting on the offering John Lyons, Honorary Treasurer, Irish Rugby Football Union said: "There is a significant pent-up demand for International stand tickets at Lansdowne Road. However, in so far as it is possible, those existing 10 year Guinness East Stand ticket holders will be accommodated before we would make tickets available to a wider public.
"The figure of 9000 per ticket was set following consideration of a number of factors including;
- The last issue price (1993) paid for these tickets, which was 2,539. - The increased number of international matches being played at Lansdowne Road each year. An average of 3 matches per season in 1993, as against an average of 5.5 per season at present. - The price of a premium ticket in 1993, which stood at 27.93, as against a proposed price of not less than 65 from next season. - The guarantee of a specific seat in the prime area of the ground.
"In the intervening period rugby has gone professional, which has resulted in dramatically increased costs in the preparation and fielding of Irish teams. This commitment to the professional game by the IRFU, which involves an annual cost in the order of 20m, is reflected in the significantly improved results achieved by Irish teams in recent times. "A further 9m+ is being invested each season by the IRFU in the domestic game. This includes the Rugby Development programme in clubs and schools, the leagues, grants to clubs and schools and administrative grants to the provinces."
In the event of the IRFU moving matches to a National Stadium, or other stadium, holders would be given first refusal on any club seats/debenture schemes that may be offered and a credit or refund would be given on a pro-rata basis on their Guinness East Stand tickets.
The closing date for ticket applications will be April 9th, 2003.