Today is something of a red letter day for the FAI and Munster Rugby as both organisations open up their season ticket renewal programmes.
The FAI have the bounce benefit of the Euro Finals this summer to buoy them going into a year that will include three qualifying games for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, against Georgia, Wales and Austria, as well as two friendlies yet to be named this autumn and next summer.
Recent home performances against Germany, Bosnia and Slovakia stand out as providing good entertainment, great atmosphere and with hopes high for the summer and beyond, renewals are expected to be strong given its the first year of a qualification cycle.
Further South in Munster things may not be so clear cut, especially following the late and unfortunate loss to Leinster in Dublin on Saturday.
Munster now sit in sixth place in the Guinness Pro 12. A semi final place is still possible but of greater concern will be staying in the top six to secure Champions’ Cup rugby next season.
To miss out on those three home fixtures, and the anticipation and buzz that surrounds the successor to the Heineken Cup on which the province built its reputation would be a serious blow and it may be that fans will hold fire until the next three fixtures determine that European fate.
The crunch game could well be at home to Edinburgh who lie one point behind. That takes place on Friday April 29th in Irish Independent Park (still listed as Musgrave Park on the Irish Times website).
That’s ten days after tickets go on public sale but the “We are One” siege mentality might play well in terms of people standing behind the team at a time of anxiety.
There are certainly some good benefits in the renewal package with chief among them being the ability to bring two kids free to all Guinness Pro12 matches off the back of each adult season ticket. That’s safeguarding the long term future and is a smart move, as is the rolling in of extra benefits and extra savings by opting for a renewal that includes membership of the Munster Supporters Club.