Newport Gwent Dragons will play their last Guinness PRO12 match of the season against Cardiff Blues at the Constructaquote Stadium, home of Caerphilly RFC. The match on Saturday the 6th of May kicks off at 5:15pm.
It was announced last month that this match would need to be played away from Rodney Parade due to a fixture clash with Newport County. Whilst it was disappointing to have to relocate a game of this stature, it represented an opportunity to take a match into the wider Dragons’ region.
Since the announcement the Dragons Senior Management Team have visited Eugene Cross Park home of Ebbw Vale RFC, Pandy Park home of Cross Keys RFC and Constructaquote Stadium home of Caerphilly RFC, as well as speaking to other potential venues across the region.
Dragons CEO Stuart Davies said: “We have considered a range of factors and consulted with a large number of stakeholders and commercial partners to allow us to make a decision as to which ground is the most appropriate to host this match.
“We would like to extend our thanks to Ebbw Vale, Cross Keys and Caerphilly rugby clubs as well as the Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Councils for their efforts and warm welcomes. I would like to extend a special mention to Colin Vernall of Cross Keys, Jon Jones of Ebbw Vale and to Alex James of Caerphilly.
“Whilst it is recognised that Caerphilly RFC do not currently play in the Principality Premiership, their stadium in Virginia Park has historically hosted rugby at the highest level. The venue has a significant footprint which will allow us to enhance existing facilities to deliver a similar matchday experience for our supporters.”
Caerphilly RFC Chairman Alex James is also on the Board of Directors for Newport Gwent Dragons. Alex boasts a wide range of experience in delivering top level sporting events across the UK and will be supporting both with infrastructure and the delivery of the event.
Alex James commented: “Caerphilly RFC are proud and privileged to host the biggest Derby game in Wales at the Constructaquote Stadium. The venue has held many European games in the past and has the capacity to make this a memorable day once again.
“It is a perfect fit for both the Dragons and Caerphilly RFC with the training ground based just a few miles up the road. We aim to make this great occasion for the supporters of the Dragons, and hope it will be the first of many days on the road embracing the region.”
Over the past weeks, Newport Gwent Dragons have liaised with Caerphilly County Borough Council and their Event Safety Advisory Group to gain certain assurances, not least in respect of the ground capacity of circa 6000, whilst also requiring undertakings from Caerphilly RFC.
This fixture is included in Dragons’ season memberships with all members guaranteed a ticket. Members need to confirm their attendance by collecting a ticket from the ticket office, as is the case with Judgement Day tickets. All members who have a seat at Rodney Parade will be offered a seated ticket at the Constructaquote Stadium and can claim these from Wednesday 29th March.
Supporters wishing to purchase general admission tickets will be able to do so from the Rodney Parade ticket office in person, online or by calling 01633 674 990. A full ticketing plan will be released next week with tickets available from Wednesday 29th March. Tickets start from just £12 for Adults, £9 Concessions and £3 for Under 16’s when purchased in advance. With a reduced capacity people are encouraged to purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Dragons Box Holders and Business Club Members will all be invited to a pitch side hospitality marquee located behind the posts. The facility will offer a hot fork buffet, exclusive bar and reserved seating all served by a separate ticket entrance. Invites will be sent out next week through the usual hospitality channels.
Caerphilly is served by excellent rail and road transport links. A travel plan will be released next week which will include details on supporter coach travel, public transport links and parking opportunities.
Stuart Davies continued: “Rodney Parade boasts a unique matchday experience which is regularly voted one of the best in the Guinness PRO12. Every endeavour will be made to replicate this experience at the Constructaquote Stadium”.
A mobile big screen will be installed, in partnership with iStadia. This will relay a live feed of the match, pre-match build up, a half time show and post match reaction.
Temporary food and drink concessions will be installed to support the existing bar and food offering at the Constructaquote Stadium. We will also be working with our brewery partner Molson Coors, Championship sponsor’s Guinness and Crabbies, official alcoholic ginger beer of Welsh Rugby, to offer full range of products.
A We Fight Any Claim Supporter Village will host both pre and post-match entertainment including live music. As with all Dragons matches at Rodney Parade there will also be a Friar’s Walk matchday partner. The Dragons Community Department will be running a wide range of community activity including the regional tag rugby finals.
In finalising, Stuart Davies stated: “Everyone at the Dragons is now looking forward to taking this Guinness PRO12 Welsh Derby to another part of our region. Steps are being taken to assist as many supporters as possible in attending the match, and we hope supporters make the most of the full afternoon of entertainment on offer.”