RFU hold talks over bringing in an alcohol-free zone at Twickenham

RFU hold talks over bringing in an alcohol-free zone at Twickenham, with many fans put off by drinking culture at England rugby matches

  • The RFU are considering bringing alcohol free zones to Twickenham matchdays 
  • There has been concern over the drinking culture during England rugby games 

The RFU will consider bringing in an alcohol-free zone at Twickenham as part of a review of the matchday experience during England games.

Sportsmail columnist Sir Clive Woodward has expressed his concern at Twickenham’s drinking culture and the fact many fans spend long periods of matches getting up from their seat to go to the bar or the toilet.

An RFU spokesperson said: ‘We know the full matchday experience is very important to fans, which is why we continue to evolve the wider Twickenham event day experience. We will also continue to work to promote responsible drinking.’

Woodward branded Twickenham ‘the world’s biggest pub’ and urged the RFU to take action because watching England home games has become ‘a pretty unpleasant experience’.

‘Having experienced Twickenham’s drinking culture first-hand while working at England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland, it made me realise that the RFU have a big problem on their hands,’ Sir Clive told Sportsmail.

The RFU is holding talks about bringing alcohol free zones to Twickenham matchdays

‘They have to do something about the huge number of supporters who spend most of the match getting up and down to either go to the bar to buy more beers or to go to the toilet.

‘Twickenham is turning into the world’s biggest pub and for many England fans, watching their team has now become a pretty unpleasant experience.

‘It is a complex problem and I don’t claim to have all the solutions, but this is a hugely important issue and talking point — not just for English rugby, but for the game as a whole.’

‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing for no drinking at all. I just want to see some understanding of this issue and a way to moderate it. The RFU need to look at it before trouble breaks out, especially when some are paying nearly £200 for a ticket.

There have been concerns over the drinking culture among fans at England rugby matches

‘When we are experiencing a cost of living crisis, you can’t get away from the fact that it is very expensive to go and watch England play at Twickenham.

‘This gets to the heart of the RFU’s issue. Do they see Twickenham as just a massive revenue generator, where they charge top prices for tickets and food and drink to replenish the coffers?

‘Or do they take a step back and realise that they need to do something because a lot of rugby fans are being put off going to Twickenham by the stadium’s drinking culture? It has to be the latter.’

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