Traditionally, on the Wednesday following an international, the Union takes payment from clubs around the country for the tickets sold for the game in question, but, following the uproar over ticket prices for last month’s internationals against the touring southern hemisphere sides, many unsold tickets had to be returned to the Union.
Some clubs were concerned they might be charged for tickets they had returned to Lansdowne Road, in particular those for Sunday’s poorly-attended Argentina game.
However, as of yesterday, clubs in Cork, Limerick and Dublin confirmed they had not been charged for returned tickets and had not been contacted by the IRFU in relation to tickets, apart from the statement on the Union’s decision to restructure ticket prices for the 2011 Six Nations.
The IRFU will hope this brings an end to the controversy arising out of its decision not only to charge up to €190 per ticket package, but creating those packages in the first place.
As Donal Lenihan pointed out recently in these pages, South African supporters following their touring side would have had to buy two tickets under that arrangement — one to see their own side play and another ticket for the following week’s game between Ireland and Samoa, when they would presumably have been in Cardiff, watching the Springboks play Wales.
There was further confusion last weekend when the Leinster Branch ended up selling tickets for the Argentina-Ireland game for €45, half their face value, from its office in Donnybrook.
This was despite the fact that many of the €90 tickets had already been sold, some in a €190 package for the New Zealand and Argentina games.
The Aviva Stadium didn’t sell out for any of the autumn Tests.
Meanwhile, Connacht’s hopes of ending a five-match losing run in the Magners League may have to be put on hold with a pitch inspection this morning to see if tomorrow night’s game against Aironi goes ahead at the Sportsground in Galway.
Heavy overnight frost has cast doubts over the game going ahead, with no under-soil heating or pitch covering available at the venue.
The pitch will be inspected this morning, but there are also doubts about Aironi being able to fly from northern Italy.
The game may be rescheduled for Saturday or Sunday if it is not played tomorrow evening.
Connacht are hopeful of notching their first win in the Magners League since September when they play the Italian newcomers, who have lost all nine games to date.
The IRFU is monitoring the ongoing weather conditions at local and national level with regard to the All-Ireland League fixtures scheduled for this weekend.
A decision on the AIL fixtures scheduled for this weekend will be taken at lunchtime today and communicated to all affected clubs as well as being posted online.
Any decision to postpone games will take into account the forecast for the weekend and travel conditions.