World Cup odyssey could cost Ireland fans €20,000

Rugby fans packing their bags for Cardiff this Saturday can expect to pay anything between €4,000 and €20,000 to follow Ireland’s World Cup odyssey.

For the last Rugby World Cup, hard-pressed fans shuddered at the thought of figuring out how to pay to travel to the southern hemisphere to watch Ireland play in New Zealand.

This time around, they will only have to take a short hop across the water to Cardiff and London, but that does not mean that the wallet will not take a hit.

A study by GoEuro.ie has found that taking travel, tickets, accommodation, and food and drink into account, fans can expect to pay between around €4,000 and €20,000 to follow the team — depending on how much they are willing to slum it.

For example, if Ireland make it all the way to the final, a fan can expect to pay around €3,068 for all seven games for category A tickets. However, this drops to €775 if you are willing to inhabit the nosebleed sections of the stadiums.

World Cup odyssey could cost Ireland fans €20,000

However, if you are booking at this late stage, tickets are only available for Ireland’s games against Canada and Romania. The Italian and French games are sold out.

Accommodation is also costly and hard to find with fans stating that Cardiff is, by and large, booked out in advance of Ireland’s first game.

Last month, it was revealed that hotels in Cardiff had raise prices sixfold in some cases , with some hotels outside the city offering rooms for as much as £600 (€817) for Ireland’s opening game with Canada on Saturday. The Cardiff Hoteliers Association has defended the price hikes by saying they are “in tune with demand”.

AirBnb is also an option for many fans, but the company has confirmed that, in Cardiff alone, there has been an almost 500% increase in bookings for World Cup nights compared to non-tournament nights.

World Cup odyssey could cost Ireland fans €20,000

“The figures speak for themselves; the total number of homes listed in Cardiff is up by 301% from this time last year,” said a spokesperson. “On the demand side, Cardiff, like many host cities in the UK, has shown a huge increase in bookings — specifically 498% up for non-tournament nights — selling at roughly £182 per home.”

As regards getting there, the study found that, on average, a flight to Cardiff returning from London will cost in the region of €262. However, these prices drop dramatically to just €175 if you are willing to take the train and €45 if you can stomach a long bus journey.

Ryanair has put on 52 flights operating between Dublin and Cardiff, with a further 12 flying between Shannon and Cardiff.

Aer Lingus has also put on extra flights to accommodate travelling fans, while those wishing to drive to Cardiff can avail of Irish Ferries, who have said it will not need to operate any additional crossings to cope with demand.

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