The Welsh Rugby Union chairman has taken the unprecedented step of allowing clubs to return a percentage of any unsold stock, so it can help get the final few thousand into supporters’ hands.
Doubt over the duration of pandemic safety measures set by Welsh Government meant sales for a game, which would normally reach 74,000 capacity long before kick-off, stalled over the Christmas period.
But the WRU, and member clubs who order large groups of tickets in advance, have been under pressure to catch up on lost sales since measures were lifted and Welsh rugby received the welcome news that full crowds could attend the showcase matches.
The WRU ticket office and commercial operation is geared up to process tickets in their thousands and, even though only a short sales window remains before the Scots are in town, it has been able to sell tickets in record time.
But member clubs still have tickets left for the Scotland match and, for some, this means they could be left out of pocket if they are not connected to those many supporters who still want tickets.
“We know the demand is there amongst the Welsh public, after all the Six Nations is one of the greatest shows in town and a must-see event for Welsh rugby fans around the country,” said WRU chair Butcher.
“Once supporters realised the Scotland game would be at full capacity they came flooding back to us, but the way our ticket distribution works our member clubs have first refusal and order their allocations well in advance.
“Our clubs ordered their tickets in good faith in the autumn and, though some clubs may be doing well in terms of sales, we wouldn’t want any of them to be left with tickets as an unnecessary burden as a result of the pandemic and through no fault of their own.
“Whatever the issue, the WRU has the ability to service some of the demand that we are seeing and also help out our rugby clubs in the process, so it was only right that we should step in.”
The WRU are allowing member clubs to return up to 25% of their original allocations in the first instance. This should mean that both clubs and the WRU are left with manageable amounts of tickets to sell for the Scotland match. The offer is not expected to be repeated for the France or Italy matches, which are also set to be played in Cardiff, as both games have much longer sales windows before they are played.
“It’s a win-win situation for supporters still looking for tickets,” added Butcher.
“Six Nations tickets are normally like gold-dust, but this is now an opportunity for fans who may not usually attend to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience.
“The best way to get hold of a ticket is always to contact your local rugby club and this is the way to directly benefit Welsh rugby at a community level, but we will now also have a greater supply at the WRU on sale online.
“In either situation its win-win for the fan,s so we would just like to appeal to all supporters to pick up their tickets quickly to cheer on Wales as they defend their Six Nations Championship title in Cardiff next month.”
Clubs will also have the option to post tickets which remain unsold on the WRU’s supporter exchange platform created by Seat Unique, which is set to go live online ahead of the Wales v Scotland fixture. This regulated supporter exchange platform protects purchasers, with all tickets guaranteed by the WRU and messaging about where the cheapest priced tickets are available included on point of purchase.
A deadline of midnight on Tuesday 25 January is in place for clubs to submit the request to return Wales v Scotland tickets.
Visit your local rugby club now to buy tickets or contact the WRU directly at www.wru.wales/tickets.