Leinster Rugby have revealed details of a new 'Official Membership' scheme for next season's games when supporters can be admitted.
The Irish province announced last month that they were cancelling season tickets for the 2020/21 term due to the impact on capacity at matches due to social distancing restrictions.
The province say that the new 'Official Membership' scheme "will offer priority access to tickets for any games that are played in front of supporters during next season" and has been backed by senior coach Leo Cullen.
"Some of the best moments of my time as a player and over the last few seasons as a coach have been made by our supporters," said Cullen.
"That ‘sea of blue’ as we’ve driven in to the RDS or the Aviva and obviously the sights that greeted us in Bilbao, Newcastle and Glasgow.
"We understand now more than ever that they are special days.
"All our efforts will now be invested in representing the club and the supporters and hopefully finishing out the season on the field as best we can.
"We all look forward to running out in front of a packed RDS some day again, but for now we’ll continue to play our part and continue to adhere to the guidelines around social distancing."
Credit from a 2019/20 season ticket can be put towards the €120 cost of the Official Membership which will be offered, in the first instance, to current season ticket holders.
There are several added incentives for anyone who signs up but the main one being priority ticket access to tickets that do become available for next season’s matches including:
- Games in the Guinness PRO14 and the Heineken Champions Cup
- Leinster Women’s home games played in the Interprovincial Championship
- Leinster ‘A’ home games played in the Celtic Cup
The scheme will open to the public on 6 July and Leinster have opened up a waiting list for anyone interested.
CEO Mick Dawson is hoping that it will help them recover from the financial impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Last Friday’s announcement by the Government was another hugely positive step in the right direction and hopefully that continues in the coming weeks and months but the reality is that we are still some way short of offering full houses in a safe environment for our supporters and staff," said Dawson.
"Without match day revenue and Season Ticket sales, the club is taking a significant financial hit so this offering will allow us to offset some of that loss.
"We have worked closely with the OLSC on this, and with season ticket holders through the online survey last week and the Official Membership gives us what we believe to be a fair and equitable way of distributing what tickets do come available next season for each game to our season ticket holders.
"This won’t suit all and we are very conscious that some supporters for a variety of reasons may wish to sit this one out, and if that’s the case, we would like to assure them that their seat is secure for another year, that they don’t need to do anything but we look forward to seeing them hopefully back at the RDS Arena for the 2021/22 season."
Guinness PRO14 organisers are still hopeful of returning to action in late August.
There are still eight rounds of regular fixtures to play and the Irish Rugby Football Union has already put forward plans to the government to stage to interprovincial derby matches at the Aviva Stadium on 22 & 23 August.
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