Jump to main content


IRFU To Continue To Engage With Supporters To Enhance Aviva Matchday Experience

The teams take to the field 5/11/2022

Get ready for the big match in Aviva Stadium Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The IRFU has committed to continue engagement with supporters in its efforts to enhance the match day experience for supporters attending international fixtures at the Aviva Stadium. This follows research carried out on the IRFU’s behalf by Opinions Market Research Limited across the Ireland V South Africa (Saturday, 5th November) and Ireland V Australia (Saturday, 19th November) test matches during the Bank of Ireland Autumn Nations Series.

In all, 744* supporters over the age of 18 were surveyed before and after the Bank of Ireland Autumn Nations Series matches against South Africa and Australia as part of the IRFU’s drive to better understand attitudes and behaviour of supporters, particularly relating to accessing food and beverage outlets during the game, and the knock-on consequences of supporters bringing drinks and food into the bowl during games.

The key findings included:

  • Almost 7 in 10 (68%) of the sample claimed they would not support a ban on alcohol being brought into the stadium bowl during a match. This number rises to 74% when the likely negative impact of such a move is explained.
  • Almost 7 in 10 (68%) across both games planned to have an alcoholic beverage during the games.
  •  1 in 4 (25%) felt people getting up and coming back with drinks during the game greatly diminishes their experience of the game.

The findings of the survey indicate that a significant majority of supporters (68% – 74%) wish to continue to enjoy the option of having a drink in the bowl during the game. However, a significant minority (25%), including some respondents who want to have the option of enjoying a drink in their seats, find it inconvenient to have to stand for supporters leaving / returning with drinks during the game.

Arising from these findings, a restriction on supporters’ ability to enjoy drinks at their seat is not considered an appropriate measure to take.

The IRFU is committed to putting in place measures, commencing at the upcoming Guinness Six Nations Tests against France and England, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the match day experience for all patrons at the Aviva Stadium.

It will look to measure these actions and will continue to engage with its supporters on an ongoing basis.

As part of the IRFU’s initiatives, specific actions will be trialled during the forthcoming Guinness Six Nations Championship including:

  • Piloting new protocols for access and egress to the bowl during the game in certain locations.
  • Running a multi-channel communications campaign for all attending the matches to be mindful of fellow supporters on leaving and returning to seats during the game.
  • Engaging with the stadium bar and catering operators to improve pre-match and half-time service times.
  • Security and stewarding will be encouraging people to be respectful of others around re-entry to the bowl.

The IRFU thanks all those who participated in the survey and will continue to monitor feedback.

The Survey can be downloaded here IRFU – A Review of Alcohol Consumption At the Aviva Stadium

* The error margin for this data is +/- 3.7% based on the estimated population of interest to this study.