Matchdays at Leicester Tigers will have to remain closed to supporters following confirmation that the city is included in Tier 3 of the new Covid restrictions.
The new categories apply when the current national lockdown ends of December 2 – with the country divided into Tier 1, 2 and 3 areas – and will be reviewed every two weeks, beginning on December 16.
Leicester and Leicestershire have been announced within Tier 3, which carries the strictest restrictions with limits on groups meeting outdoors and hospitality venues including pubs, cafes and restaurants closed except for delivery and takeaway services.
The club is obviously disappointed that supporters will continue to be excluded from matchday at Mattioli Woods Welford Road at this point, but recognises its responsibilities to players, staff and supporters as well as to the local community and will continue to play a part in helping to bring this virus under control in whichever ways it can.
Venues in Tiers 1 and 2 will be able to welcome supporters and that has raised the question from some supporters of whether fixtures could be taken to alternative venues outside the county.
A change of venue would still exclude all season ticket holders and supporters who live in Leicester, Leicestershire and all counties in Tier 3, while government advice is also not to travel to and from Tier 3 areas.
Combined with the club’s responsibilities to public health, an assessment of the financial viability of playing at any alternative venue with severely reduced crowd numbers, the potential impact on the integrity of the fixture list and of playing ‘home’ fixtures elsewhere, Leicester Tigers will continue to play behind closed doors at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
A lot of planning has already been done towards welcoming the Tigers Family back into the stadium whenever it is safe to do so, but the well-being of our community is paramount and Leicester Tigers offers its best wishes and support to everyone affected by the pandemic.
The club also has a rebate initiative in place for 2020/21 season tickets and plans for a ticket ballot for any games played in front of reduced crowds.