The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), which gains a third of its turnover from ticketing, has signed a multi-year partnership with Ireland-based secure digital ticketing solution Tixserve.

The move will support the governing body’s transition towards a fully digital ticketing set up for games at Principality Stadium, which it said has long been its ambition. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the industry, organisations are looking at ways to adapt and bring fans back in a safe manner, with Tixserve providing that “essential” service.

The WRU currently distributes two thirds of its tickets through clubs, with the other third going to debenture holders. The move to digital is in line with supporting the volunteers at the clubs, who help to shift thousands of tickets, in collecting data and communicating with ticket holders. The digital roll-out will aim to implement at 100 per cent to all customers.

Matthew Clarke, ticketing manager at WRU, said during the announcement of the deal at TheTicketingBusiness Forum Online: “The ability to communicate with them (ticketholders) directly will change for us. A great example is when the Six Nations fixture against Scotland was postponed in March, we were unable to talk directly to those ticket holders. So this now gives us that ability to do so. It’s a hugely positive step forward for us.”

Clarke added that without Tixsere “we would struggle to adhere to what will become a normal ticketing culture post-COVID.”

He said: “COVID-19 is certainly going to change the landscape of when we can resume play and begin selling tickets. It will now become essential to understand who is in the stadium, which has always been a challenge for us, and this helps us deliver on that directive.”

In its search for a new ticketing partner, Clarke noted that Tixserve delivered on the WRU’s goal of knowing who was in every seat, adding that it was the “standout supplier” with the implementation process running smoothly.

Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency