Bill Sweeney – One metre social distancing worth £3m for RFU

Bill Sweeney
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Eddie Jones (R) the England head coach, looks on with RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Wasps and Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena on May 18, 2019 in Coventry, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The RFU CEO Bill Sweeney has revealed the full extent of social distancing has on the RFU home internationals financially, if they can go ahead with crowds later this year. Robert Rees brings the latest from RFU HQ.

Capacity decreased

Sweeney confirmed that Twickenham, which usually has a capacity of 82,000, could drop as low as 9,500 supporters depending on how much social distancing would be in place for the autumn internationals, if they go ahead.

If two metres distance must be observed the maximum crowd would be only 9,500 supporters, which was “much lower than I thought” according to Sweeney.

The one metre ruling that could be in place would boost that capacity to around 40,000 fans. A much needed financial boost follows this, given the state of the game left behind by the pandemic.

Discussing the financial implications Bill Sweeney said, “Depending on who you’ve got coming, ticket pricing etc you’re looking at around £3m per game.”

He confirmed that they want to finish all scheduled games, but that there are also provisions in place shall the planned autumn international opposition not be able to take part.

Read more about that here.

Catering facilities may also be allowed to open for games should they be outdoors, Bill Sweeney adding, “Yes, I believe they could open.”

Sweeney also confirmed that Twickenham would be available to the Gallagher Premiership teams shall they need it to finish off games for their 2019/20 season.

“Yeah, it would be available. We haven’t had any detailed discussions on that and me and Darren Childs [PRL CEO] speak on a regular basis and I know he has plans on restarting, but we would be able to react quickly.”

 

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