The return to Thomond Park cannot come quick enough for Munster chief executive Ian Flanagan and nor can the selling of the famous stadium’s naming rights.
Flanagan said yesterday during a media video call that modelling had begun on how the Limerick venue will operate in a post-Covid environment once the 2020-21 season gets underway, provisionally scheduled for early October, with social distancing for spectators at two metres or one.
Off the pitch, he said “relatively serious” discussions had begun with potential naming rights partners.
“There are probably two or three relatively serious conversations underway. They have largely been put on pause.
"We’ll pick them up when it’s the right time to do that.
"In a process like this there is commercial sensitivity and every company has gone through this (pandemic) in a way which will probably change their revenues. And in most cases that change won’t be a positive change.
“Also, as part of a process like this, potentially interested parties would always come and see the stadium on matchday, see a big game and really understand what makes Thomond Park special, and experience it viscerally themselves, in person, the noise, the atmosphere. And none of that is possible in the current environment.
“That is a very important part of the process when you are talking about commercial deals and agreements.
"By necessity, some of those conversions are significantly on hold, but we will pick them up when it is the right time to do so later in the year.”
Because it is a big focus for us and we think securing the right partner will not just help in terms of the overall revenues, but we also hope and we are targeting partners, that we hope will have the ability to give us things other than money and to be able to help Munster to grow internationally especially.