WRU considers alcohol-free zone at Cardiff stadium

The Welsh Rugby Union is considering trialling an alcohol-free zone at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff next autumn.

WRU chief executive, Martyn Phillips, has said a number of surveys held during the recent autumn internationals suggested that some fans – for various reasons – were supportive of an alcohol-free zone.

He said: “What we now understand is that for lots of people coming to a rugby international, they want to have a drink. That might be in a bar or in the ground.

“Equally, there’s a segment saying they like a different experience. That might be a non-alcoholic zone, something of that nature. They don’t want people standing up and sitting down, or they want to bring their children.”

Quite what will be implemented is not clear and Phillips said the WRU is still considering its options but nothing is likely to happen until next year’s autumn internationals.

As well as the disruption in the stands – people constantly getting up and down and in particular coarse and aggressive behaviour exacerbated by alcohol – it is understood that South Wales Police have raised concerns about the conduct of some supporters following a number of incidents both inside and outside of the stadium during Wales’ tests this autumn.

In one instance an elderly fan headbutted a steward during the loss to New Zealand.

It has since been reported that the English Rugby Football Union is considering observing what the WRU does to see if a similar move might work or be suitable at Twickenham.

A spokesman said in a statement: “The WRU decision is an interesting one – we won’t rule anything out which can potentially improve the customer experience.”

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