Season 2020/21 Update
In early August, World Rugby sanctioned temporary changes to the international test windows in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has stopped all professional and international rugby since March. Following this announcement, Scottish Rugby confirmed that the 2020/21 Autumn Test fixtures at BT Murrayfield would not be going ahead with the originally planned opponents, but that an exciting schedule of matches was being developed for a new temporarily extended Autumn Test window.
Scotland Season Pass 2020/21: CANCELLED
In addition to the Autumn Tests being cancelled there is still uncertainty over whether their replacement fixtures – which are still to be finalised – will be played in front of supporters. If crowds are allowed into the stadium, what social distancing rules will be in place in three months’ time are currently unknown and so Scottish Rugby is unable to guarantee how many seats they will be able to make available for sale. With this continuing uncertainty surrounding seat availability, plus the change in the fixture list, it was felt the Scotland Season Pass had to be cancelled this year.
Scottish Rugby has emailed everyone who has purchased a Scotland Season Pass in full and offered them a full refund or the opportunity to credit their on-line Scottish Rugby account for use in buying into the new Priority Ticket Access scheme (see below) and/or purchasing tickets for the replacement Autumn tournament. The majority of Scotland Season Pass holders auto-renewed their pass(es) from last year and, having had their Direct Debit payments delayed earlier in the summer, have now been contacted confirming these payments will now not take place.
Current Season Pass seats are safe as all these Season Passes will be automatically renewed for Season 2021/22 (with, of course, the usual option to cancel before the first payment next summer) and so all such purchasers are urged NOT to cancel their Direct Debit instructions.
3-Match 2020 Autumn Test Package: CANCELLED
Because of the change of opponents and the expected limited capacity, the existing 3-Match Autumn Test Package has been cancelled. Scottish Rugby has emailed everyone who purchased one of these packages last December and offered them a full refund or the opportunity to credit their on-line Scottish Rugby account for use in buying into the new Priority Ticket Access scheme (see below) and/or purchasing tickets for the replacement Autumn tournament.
New Eight-Nations Tournament
This year’s Autumn Tests will be replaced by a unique eight-team competition involving Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, France and Italy plus two other international teams. This alternative tournament format has been primarily driven by the pandemic-related travel restrictions and tournament organisers are working hard to finalise the match schedule, further details of which we expect to announce later in August.
Socially Distanced Crowds
The Eight-Nations Tournament this autumn is the culmination of an enormous amount of work undertaken over the last few months to ensure rugby returns to BT Murrayfield this year.
While it will be wonderful to have rugby back at the stadium, what everyone at Scottish Rugby wants is to welcome back supporters to BT Murrayfield to watch the games. We have been in regular dialogue with the Scottish Government since the start of the Covid-19 crisis and continue to work in collaboration with them to give us the best opportunity possible to welcome supporters back to BT Murrayfield this autumn.
As part of our contingency planning we have developed several stadium configuration models based on varying social distance requirements and will be ready to deploy the most appropriate should the government’s social distancing guidelines allow as we approach the Autumn Test window.
Tickets: New Priority Access Scheme
This is a unique situation and the uncertainty it produces is having a significant influence on the planning of the season ahead. Every year supporters generally know the type of products that will be available and roughly when they will go on sale. Importantly, we know exactly how many seats we have available to put on sale. This year however, because we don’t know what social distancing rules will be in place in three months’ time, we won’t know how many seats at BT Murrayfield we’ll be able to make available for sale until much nearer the time. For this reason, Scottish Rugby is planning to introduce a priority ticket access scheme.
This initiative is designed to enable fans to access tickets for those seats at Scotland matches during season 2020/21 that will be made available for sale in line with Government guidelines for mass events. Please watch this space for further details.