Leinster Rugby have taken the decision to cancel season tickets for the 2020/21 season with uncertainty surrounding live rugby due to social distancing.
The province will instead give supporters the chance to avail of match tickets that do become available next season through a new 'Official Membership' which will prioritise current season ticket holders.
Guinness PRO14 bosses remain hopeful of completing the current season with a resumption of action in August behind closed doors but plans for next season have yet to be put in place.
Current season ticket holders for the RDS were due to be given the opportunity to renew from late March but that was postponed and in a statement released today, Leinster explain the difficulties they faced.
"With social distancing now likely to remain a part of sporting and other spectator events for some time to come, that renewal has now been formally cancelled by Leinster Rugby as it was not feasible to accommodate over 12,800 season ticket holders for next season in the RDS Arena," reads the statement which also outlines the following main points;
- Leinster Rugby season tickets sale for season 2020/21 to be cancelled.
- Current season ticket holders will retain the right to purchase their current seat through to season 2021/22.
- Current season ticket holders to receive credit for the three remaining games of the 2019/20 season on a pro-rata basis.
- Supporters who bought single match tickets to any of the Saracens, Munster Rugby, Zebre or Cardiff Blues games will be refunded automatically.
- Leinster Rugby to launch Official Membership offering for current season ticket holders for 2020/21 on Monday, 8th June.
Mick Dawson, Chief Executive of Leinster Rugby, highlighted the importance of the province's season ticket holders.
"The consequences of the pandemic and implications for Leinster Rugby and our loyal supporters are significant," said Dawson.
"Our public health obligations to all of our stakeholders are key as we seek to plot the return of Leinster Rugby.
"Season ticket holders are, and will continue to be, the foundation stone of our province.
"Social distancing is imperative as we consider the 2020/21 season. As a consequence, we have tried to develop a solution which we believe is fair and balanced.
"The new Official Membership offering attempts to maintain critical financial support while protecting season ticket holders’ future rights."
Dawson admits that the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainties regarding supporters attending future matches will have a big financial impact on Leinster.
"Cancelling our Season Ticket offering is an unprecedented step," added Dawson, "and one that will have a significant financial impact on our organisation but we feel it is the right decision to make.
"It has been a very difficult time for everyone and nobody knows what the future will look like but as a business, we have to make decisions now based on the best information available to us.
"The priority now is to finish the 2019/20 season, look after those that have tickets outstanding and then hopefully start the 2020/21 season.
"Our supporters have been a crucial part of our success over the years and it is also vital that when we all come back from this, and we will come back, that we have a vibrant supporter base to welcome to the RDS Arena.
"We feel that by securing their right to purchase their seat for 2021/22, that our supporters will take some comfort from the steps we have taken."
Leinster Rugby have asked supporters with any further queries to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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