The return of major rugby events to the new Aviva Stadium is undoubtedly one of the most eagerly anticipated occasions for rugby fans the length and breadth of the country.
The O2 Challenge match between a Leinster/Ulster team and a Connacht/Munster team of emerging young players this Saturday will see 45,000 supporters flocking to the new venue. Supporters are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new access points.
Rugby has been played at the venue for over 134 years and while many supporters will have their own memories and traditional favoured routes into the stadium at Lansdowne Road, the Aviva Stadium is a brand new venue, bearing little or no resemblance to the old Lansdowne either in appearance or in the way it will be operated.
As a new venue hosting its first game, the IRFU and the Aviva Stadium are appealing to all supporters to take time out before Saturday’s match to plan their visit to the stadium to ensure that they have the best possible experience.
The entry points to the stadium for ticket holders will be colour coded – either red, green, orange, blue or purple – with each colour designating the route that needs to be taken to access the stadium.
On matchdays there will be a cordon around the stadium and fans can only access this cordon via a route indicated on the ticket.
Fans should also note that there is no parking around the stadium. There will, however, be enhanced DART services to the stadium.
A vehicle exclusion zone will be in place two hours prior to an event for non residents. A guide highlighting all public transport options can be downloaded from the following link:
Supporters are also requested to leave by the same colour coded route to ensure there is no congestion and are urged to work out their route in advance, to use public transport if possible and, above all, to arrive early to enjoy the facilities of the new stadium.
The IRFU and the Aviva Stadium also want to make supporters aware that the entry turnstiles into the stadium use automated technology.
All tickets will need to be swiped to open turnstiles and supporters are asked to keep their tickets safe and that they do not damage them to ensure they can gain admittance.
Aviva Stadium Director Martin Murphy said: “We are really looking forward to Saturday. It promises to be a great occasion.
“I would appeal to everyone travelling to the ground to acquaint themselves with the details of the stadium by visiting either our own website, www.avivastadium.ie or the IRFU website, www.irishrugby.ie.
“This is a totally new stadium and there are a lot of new operational procedures in position to make the experience the best it can be for fans.
“Everyone should pay particular note to their ticket which is colour coded and that the turnstiles are automated.
“Everyone attending the game will be directed to the corresponding colour coded route and this is the only way they will be able to access the stadium.
“We would strongly recommend that everyone comes early – not alone to acquaint themselves with the new systems but also to take in the atmosphere of what is going to be a special day.”
There are a number of other new elements incorporated in the Aviva Stadium –
• The stadium is a ‘no smoking’ stadium on event days. If supporters go outside to smoke, they will be unable to be re-admitted to the stadium.
• There is a policy of no fog horns and no vuvuzuelas.
The IRFU and the Aviva Stadium management want to ensure everyone enjoys the day.