‘Harrowing’ Friday night Six Nations clash in Cardiff ‘shouldn’t happen again’ say pundits
Correspondents in the UK press have called for Friday night fixtures not to happen again, saying that they created a “harrowing” atmosphere in the centre of the city and ruined the “tournament’s appeal” for travelling fans.
The game was played in front of around 11,000 empty seats with an attendance of 63,208 in a stadium that holds 74,500. It included a visibly sparsely attended no-alcohol section in Glanmor’s Gap on the north side of the Principality Stadium.
Tickets going on sale later than usual, rising fuel prices, a lack of travelling French fans and the cost of a ticket have all been raised as contributing factors.
But the Telegraph‘s correspondent Kate Rowan said that the late kick-off on a Friday night had also created an “intimidating” atmosphere for women in the city centre, saying that the “booze-fuelled streets and woeful tourist infrastructure leave a harrowing experience”.
“There were lewd remarks being shouted at female fans, and two young female fans who had been heckled persistently on their walk towards the stadium felt the need to run to escape it,” she said.
“Rugby prides itself on its friendly and welcoming crowds but this would not be encouraging more women or families to attend.
“There has been much talk from CVC, who own a one-seventh stake in the Six Nations as well as their investment in Premiership Rugby, about attracting new audiences and it is hard to think who would want this Friday-night experience in Cardiff.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail‘s rugby correspondent Chris Foy also warned against further Friday night fixtures.
“Friday night fixtures don’t work for the paying spectator — proved again by the sight of 11,000 empty seats at the Principality Stadium, for the visit of France,” he said.
“There are particular logistical issues in Cardiff such as limited hotel and match-day train capacity, but also visiting fans face more of a challenge to travel in numbers, which is part of the tournament’s appeal. Three fixtures on each Saturday, please.”
Other countries had refused to stage fixtures in this slot.
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An 8 p.m. kick-off is telling North Wales fans they are not wanted.
Your sense of rejection is well founded except those responsible can’t even think clearly enough to get people home far nearer than that. The whole thing is now a catalogue of blunders. If the tickets were priced sensibly, if hotels were priced reasonably, if we had properly planned public transport, if, if, and more if …… but we don’t. We have a WRU that doesn’t give a damn as long as tickets get sold. Now there has been an instance of empty seats perhaps those people with empty heads will sit up and register that a bit of real marketing… Read more »
Apart from these journalists having a pop at Cardiff, so putting that bit aside, Friday night six nations matches are a complete non starter. They will always clash with the drunken mayhem in ANY city centre and will obviously affect attendance for away fans along with our fans from the mid and north so the WRU must say never again.
Other nations said “no” but the old women at WRU were too bl**dy scared to say “boo” as usual.
I was there on Friday night, sat in front of three men who were extremely drunk and who kept on laughing that they’d been on the booze since midday. Hardly a perfect environment to encourage these much sought after ‘new fans’
Why was it played on a Friday evening??… Money?… TV coverage payment? Providing the money comes in does the WRU care? Seems not. Fans and clubs aren’t consulted.
BBC comes along – “We got a Friday night slot to fill, we pay xthousand for it” WRU man says “Luvely mun, where are you taking us for lunch?”
Friday night games were paused for at least two years in 2017 and at the time Gareth Davies claimed that the clubs preferred Friday nights to Sundays.
TV coverage is one reason but the shorter turnaround time of six days is the real problem. Even if a player passes HIA testing the Graduated Return To Play takes 6 days so he gets ruled out.
A direct train link from Llandudno Junction to Merthyr would be a great boost to national cohesion
Time to end Cymru’s colonial transport system
Phew, for a minute I thought you were reporting on a sports story that isn’t soccer related, but it’s OK as you’ve made it a negative story.
Long live the Wrexham soccer fanzine…. Lol
No mention of the dismal atmosphere and the fact that piped music was played to try and stir some emotion out of the semi-comatose, beer swilling crowd.
Piped music, the kiss of death