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Widnes Vikings to run booze ban trial at Friday's clash against Wigan

No alcohol to be allowed in spectator seats

WIDNES Vikings are to hold a trial booze ban at Friday night’s clash against Wigan Warriors.

The club said supporters of both teams will be able to drink in the concourse areas beneath the stands but not in the spectator seats.

James Rule, Vikings chief executive, said the initiative follows comments from fans and the actions of a ‘shameful minority’ in the pitch invasion at the Challenge Cup semi-final.

A consultation is also under way to find out fans’ thoughts on match-day alcohol.

Any decisions based on the comments will be made in time for the 2015 season.

Friday’s Super League match is due to kick off at 8pm at Select Security Stadium.

James Rule, Widnes Vikings chief executive
James Rule, Widnes Vikings chief executive. Picture KT8 Photography.

Mr Rule said: “The number of complaints we have been receiving via mail and email has steadily increased over the course of the season.

“Many of these have focussed on supporters matchday experience being compromised due to alcohol related issues, in particular beer being spilt or thrown during the course of a game.

“We have monitored this situation closely and had intended to canvas supporter feedback concerning the stadium drinking policy during the off season period.

“As everyone is aware there is an in depth investigation into the shameful scenes that followed after the full-time whistle of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final held at Leigh Sports Village."

He added: “Although the investigation is still ongoing we believe that the consumption of alcohol was a contributing factor to the scenes that were witnessed on the day.

“During the course of our enquiry into this event the complaints continually reference supporters being showered with beer during the semi-final fixture and indeed the fact that this has become an issue at our home fixtures for some of our supporters.

“While we are acutely aware that we must not make any knee jerk decision and punish the majority as a result of the actions of the minority we also believe that we must make every attempt to ensure our match day experience is enjoyable for all.

“Therefore we would welcome constructive feedback following the trail at this Friday’s fixture.

“I’d like to thank Chris Patino, operational director at the Select Security Stadium and Halton Borough Council, our landlords, for supporting this trial initiative.

“We look forward to receiving our supporters feedback.”

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