Wembley to operate at 50 per cent capacity for Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup finals

WEMBLEY STADIUM will operate at 50 per cent capacity for next month's Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup finals.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 1:17 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 1:28 pm
WEMBLEY: The stadium will operate at 50 per cent capacity for next month's Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup finals. Picture: Allan McKenzie\SWpix.com.

Approximately 40,000-45,000 supporters will be allowed through the turnstiles for the double header with Featherstone Rovers taking on York City Knights in the 1895 Cup Final before Castleford Tigers and St Helens do battle for the Challenge Cup.

An RFL statement read: "Following extensive discussions with DCMS, Public Health authorities, Brent Council and Wembley Stadium, the Rugby Football League is delighted to announce that the double header of the Betfred Challenge Cup Final and AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final on Saturday July 17 will be one of a small number of events participating in the third phase of the Events Research Programme."

Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are still working through the full details and have further work to do in the next 24 hours with the Events Research Programme as well as Wembley Stadium and Brent Council but the indications are that we will be working to a 50 per cent capacity which is around 40-45,000.

“This is fantastic news for the sport as a whole, and especially for the tens of thousands of supporters of Castleford Tigers, St Helens, Featherstone Rovers and York City Knights who will now be able to attend Rugby League Challenge Cup Final day - one of the country’s traditional sporting highlights.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to all at DCMS, Public Health England, Wembley Stadium and Brent Council who have helped to get us to this stage.

“We fully expect that a form of Covid Certification will be required for all who attend on the day. This will consist of either having had both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before the event, or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test, which can be taken at home or at a recognised centre free of charge, within 48 hours of the event.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone: “Our phenomenal vaccine rollout and increasing uptake of the NHS App means the Challenge Cup Final and the 1895 Cup Final will now take place in front of tens of thousands of fans at Wembley Stadium, which is a very positive sign ahead of the Rugby League World Cup later this year.

"These highlights of the Rugby League calendar will be an important part of the Events Research Programme, helping to explore how we can safely return fans to sporting and cultural venues at ever greater numbers.”

Discussions with the four competing clubs will continue today, with the expectation that tickets will now go on sale initially to their members and/or season ticket holders at 9am tomorrow (Tuesday June 22) for an exclusive three-day period where they can buy up to an additional five tickets for friends and family - with any remaining tickets going on general sale on Friday June 25.

The RFL will announce further details around conditions of entry, consent required from all fans to opt into the Event Research Programme and NHS Test and Trace requirements early next week.