The ACT Brumbies are banking on an all-star cast of Super Rugby rivals to lure fans back to Canberra Stadium, opting to freeze prices on seats closest to the action despite the financial hit of COVID-19 in a call to arms for support in the capital.
The Canberra Times can reveal the Canterbury Crusaders, Queensland Reds, NSW Waratahs, Auckland Blues, Waikato Chiefs, Western Force and Wellington Hurricanes are poised to face the Brumbies in Canberra during next year's Super Rugby Pacific season.
Should that draft fixture be locked in, the Brumbies' seven home fixtures would feature the reigning champions from each of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, AU and Aotearoa competitions, as well as traditional rivals NSW.
Brumbies officials will on Wednesday launch a membership drive for the 2022 season, with packages again more affordable than they were in 2009 in a bid to win back lapsed members.
The Brumbies will play seven regular season home games in 2022 with the potential to host finals at Canberra Stadium.
"What we've done is for all categories other than silver, we've gone from six games to seven games. Platinum seats are still $40 a game, gold seats work out at $32.50, and silver we've actually kept down at six-game pricing even though we've got seven games," Brumbies general manager of commercial operations Gavin Hunt said.
"That's a play to try to put a bit of a premium on the seats closest to the action to get some more membership down in that space and to try to create some more atmosphere for the team on the sideline.
"We're trying to make it a little bit of fun. They're down at $22.85 a game, and your [general admission], they're still $15 a game."
An adult gold membership is $227.50, compared to $320 in 2009; Adult silver memberships cost $160, down from $230 in 2009.
It would have been easy for the club to bump up prices again as the code deals with the financial impact of the pandemic, but the Brumbies have brushed the temptation in a bid to build on this year's mark of 13,054 members.
"It's really important for us to reward those members who have stuck with us through these difficult couple of years. We went very hard at our pricing at the commencement of the 2020 season, when we ripped all of our pricing back down to that pre-2009 level," Hunt said.
"That was a way of reconnecting with past members and lost members that have left because our pricing had become too dear. We still think that is very much the right approach for us, to try to regain members.
"In our last two years we've actually had membership growth year on year, which is pretty incredible during the mist of COVID. It shows us we're on the right approach with our pricing to our memberships, and we maintain that approach when we can."
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