The Irish government has announced a series of 15 pilot events with spectators across football, Gaelic football, rugby union, golf and athletics, from 11 June to 10 July.
The government also announced that from 7 June numbers permitted at organised outdoor events can increase to a maximum of 100 for the majority of venues, with a maximum of 200 for outdoor stadia/venues where there is a minimum capacity of 5,000.
Subject to the Covid-19 situation, the government said that from July 5 the numbers permitted at outdoor organised events can further increase to a maximum of 200 for the majority of venues, with a maximum of 500 for outdoor stadia/venues with a capacity of 5,000. Further increases will then be considered in August.
The pilots are designed to allow sports organisations to test necessary control and other measures in stadia across a range of areas.
Dublin’s Aviva Stadium (cap. 51,700) will host two of Ireland Rugby’s Test matches against Japan and USA in July. The stadium was previously set to host matches at this summer’s rescheduled UEFA European Championships, but it was dropped due to uncertainty over its ability to welcome fans. The matches will now be split between Wembley Stadium (90,000) and Saint Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena (68,000).
Other stadiums that will host the pilot events include Croke Park (82,300), Tolka Park (3,000), Tallaght Stadium (8,000) and the RDS Arena (18,500).
Ireland’s minister of state for sport Jack Chambers said, “The trial events we have announced will allow for sports bodies and stadiums to put in place and test out the necessary safety measures to allow for the safe return of spectators. The trial events we have identified are spread across five different sports and in venues located around the country.
“The intention is that the pilots will pave the way for even more matches, games and other sporting events to be attended by spectators further into July and August with capacity increasing all the time throughout the summer.
“From a broader sporting perspective, I am really pleased we have been able to agree on further easing of restrictions to allow more people back participating in physical activity and exercising, as well as the return of competitive sport from early June.”