Ulster Rugby is set to welcome 600 supporters to the 18,211-seater Kingspan Stadium on Friday night for the first game of the 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 season.
The trial to reintroduce supporters and other members of the Ulster Rugby family follows what Ulster Rugby calls “a comprehensive consultation process with local government, Belfast City Council and the IRFU.”
In total, around 850 people will attend the season opener against Benetton Rugby.
In a statement shared today, Ulster Rugby said: “The event provides the club with the opportunity to work with supporters, to test a safe and manageable return to operations at Kingspan Stadium. Fans will be asked to provide feedback on their experience, to ensure the club continues to provide a safe and enjoyable experience in the weeks and months ahead.
“All 600 tickets will be made available to #TogetherUlster Members only via an online ballot process . 300 Members will be randomly selected and granted the opportunity to purchase two tickets each.”
Commenting on the announcement, Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, said:
“Following a number of very challenging months for us all, I’m encouraged that this weekend will mark the measured return of a limited number of spectators to Kingspan Stadium.
“It seems only fitting that the fans who chose to support us by buying a membership, during what is likely to be one of the most difficult times we will face as a club, will be able to join us in the stands as we kick-off the new Guinness PRO14 season at home.
“This event is the culmination of a considerable amount of planning and preparation from across Ulster Rugby – together with the IRFU, Belfast City Council and local government – to ensure this is a safe and managed return to the Friday night lights.
“We hope the upcoming match will be the solid foundation on which we can continue to build towards once again being able to all stand up together.”
Friday night’s match will be fully seated, in groups of two, with physically distanced seating available for supporters in the Grandstand, Memorial Stand and AbbeyAutoline Family Stand. All tickets are priced at £20 each – seats will be randomly allocated in one of the three stands.
The online ballot will be open for 24 hours from 2pm on Tuesday 29 September on the Ulster Rugby Ticket Account Manager, and account holders can apply for one pair of tickets per every Adult #TogetherUlster Membership held.
All successful applicants will be notified via email by 4pm on Wednesday 30 September. They will then have until 10am on Thursday 1 October to process payment and confirm their ticket purchase.
#TogetherUlster Memberships are still available at https://ulsterrugby.com/togetherulster – priced at £65 for adults with a £10 bolt-on option for Juniors. All adult members will have access to the ballot.