Q&A: Judgement Day 2024

Rob Lloyd News

When and where will Judgement Day take place in 2024?

Judgement Day 2024 will take place at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, June 1. It will be a double-header event with the BKT United Rugby Championship Round 18 matches between Scarlets v Dragons (15.00) and Cardiff Rugby v Ospreys (17.15)

Why has the event moved from the Principality Stadium?

The stadium is not available on the date we have agreed upon for Judgement Day this year due to pre-existing commitments around hosting major music events, but we do intend that this event will return to Principality Stadium in future. The stadium is one of the most versatile, accessible and popular venues in Europe and attracts world-class sporting and non-sporting events to Wales. It can accommodate a wide range of major events all which help support all levels of the sport in Wales.

Why couldn’t the URC fixture list change to accommodate Judgement Day at the Principality Stadium?

Finalising the URC fixture list is highly complex with multiple factors around travel, international matches, broadcast requirements, European fixtures, traditional Christmas and New Year dates, sporting integrity considerations and individual club requests to be taken into account. For the 2023-24 season there is the added factor of the Rugby World Cup in France which means a later start and finish to the BKT United Rugby Championship competition.

With the quarter-final playoffs commencing on Friday, June 7, the travel on Round 18 is minimised. Matches are staged between the four Welsh clubs, with the Irish provinces, South African teams and Scottish/Italian sides all playing each other. Just moving the Welsh fixtures on Round 18 to an earlier slot in the season is also not possible as it would mean multiple other matches would need to be moved or a complete fixture re-draft needed.

What other options were considered for Judgement Day for the 2023-24 season?

With it being both the turn of Scarlets and Cardiff to be the home clubs for Judgement Day the only other date where this happens for derby fixtures was Round 8 – Boxing Day (December 26) 2023. With this being a popular and well-attended traditional fixture date for Welsh clubs, the lack of travel options and increased staff costs on this date, it was unanimously decided that these fixtures remain at the Arms Park and Parc y Scarlets.

A ’Judgement Day’ type double-header event featuring Cardiff and Scarlets versus non-Welsh opponents was discussed, but not deemed feasible. What makes Judgement Day special and popular, is that it involves all four Welsh clubs. The fan-bases of all four clubs attending is important, and the all-Welsh line up attracts lots of event-goers and different kinds of rugby supporters to the event.

Could the two matches not just be played at the Arms Park and Parc y Scarlets?

This option was also discussed, but again was not deemed preferable. Judgement Day has become one of the biggest events in the URC calendar and all the clubs felt it was important for it to remain in the fixture list. Ospreys and Dragons gave up a home stadium advantage in 2023 to re-establish Judgement Day back in the calendar, after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19. This was done on the understanding that Cardiff and Scarlets would reciprocate in 2024. There are also URC broadcast contract requirements to deliver a double-header event at one venue and a two stadia model would not fulfil this.

The combined capacity of both stadia is just short of 27,000. This is over 14,000 less than the 41,139 who attended Judgement Day in 2023. Cardiff City Stadium can accommodate over 6,000 more supporters than the two venues combined with its capacity of 33,280.

Why was the Cardiff City Stadium chosen to host Judgement Day next season?

The clubs wanted to keep the event in South Wales for a number of reasons. It keeps travel time for the four fanbases to a minimum and meets the requirements of sponsors, corporate guests, broadcasters and the media. With supporters expecting Judgement Day to be in the capital city, Cardiff City Stadium is the obvious choice.

The venue is the second largest sporting venue in Wales after Principality Stadium. It has hosted multiple rugby events since opening in 2009 and was due to stage the 2020 URC Final until the COVID-19 pandemic intervened. The stadium is city centre based allowing multiple supporter travel options, has excellent supporter and hospitality facilities and an experienced team to assist in the event planning and delivery.

Why do the WRU stage non-rugby events that can impact rugby matches?

Principality Stadium is the largest closed roof venue in the UK and one of the biggest in the world. Its outstanding track record of delivering world class events and city centre location mean it is in high demand from promoters and event owners. All of the events staged at Principality Stadium deliver significant revenues to the WRU, and therefore to Welsh rugby, and a wider positive economic impact to Cardiff and the surrounding region.

The income generated by the WRU is re-invested back into the sport at all levels across Wales. The four clubs are direct and significant beneficiaries of this revenue re-distribution.

The WRU ensures that rugby still remains the largest content staged at the stadium. When you add together senior international matches and games played as part of the Road to Principality series – women’s and girl’s matches, community rugby finals and schools games which all take place at Principality Stadium – the 2022-23 season saw almost 40 rugby games staged at the venue.

Why is a double-header event like Judgement Day important?

Judgement Day is very important to all four clubs and other partners. It provides significant commercial revenue to the clubs, at a time of year where derbies have not traditionally sold-out at home venues, and has further growth potential as a brand and event in its own right.

For the clubs it also means additional media attention on the URC season, it’s the biggest crowd they will play in front of all year and attracts a more diverse demographic and new audiences, which is crucial to the future of the game.

It is a highlight for the players and allows the clubs to showcase the outstanding community work they undertake. Broadcasters and the league (URC) value the event enormously as it provides a focal point to the season with increased media coverage and TV viewers.

What will the 2024 event involve?

Two great Welsh derbies, a big event experience and a celebration of rugby at all levels with pre-match community festivals taking place. With a capacity of just over 33,000 a sell-out is being targeted. A full music and entertainment package is being planned which should provide for a great atmosphere.

When will tickets go on sale and what price will they be?

Tickets will be priced at the same level as 2023 with adults priced at £25 and £35, concessions (Over 65s) at £15/£25 and Under 16s at £10/£15. Tickets will go on-sale from Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday, December 5.

Season ticket holders of the two ‘home’ clubs – Scarlets and Cardiff – will receive a free ticket as part of their season ticket package. The clubs will contact their season ticket holders with details of how these will be distributed and how they can purchase additional tickets for family and friends.

Are accessible tickets available?

Yes, there are a number of accessible seating options at Cardiff City Stadium. All queries should go via the stadium – 033 33 11 1920 and [email protected]

Is hospitality available at Judgement Day?

Packages will be announced imminently and will be available via the two home clubs – Cardiff Rugby and Scarlets. Seasonal hospitality guests of the two home clubs will have Judgement Day included as part of their seasonal package. They will be contacted by the commercial team of their respective club with full details in due course.

Will Judgement Day be around from 2025 onwards?

Yes, it is intended that the event will revert back to Principality Stadium, staged during the traditional March/April window, post Six Nations. Negotiations are already underway with the BKT United Rugby Championship around the best date for the clubs, venue and the league. Work has already commenced on how the event can grow to a sell out over time with the sports presentation, fan experience, community involvement, entertainment, and attracting new potential supporters all under review.