Thursday, 5 November 2009

New rugby bar puts WRU at Cardiff's heart

Wales coach Warren Gatland today officially opened the new WRU store, bar and cafe at No 8 Westgate Street - now to be known as The Cardiff Arms.

The name is synonymous with Welsh rugby as the original Cardiff Arms Hotel, which resided on the site of the current Angel Hotel at the Castle end of Westgate Street, famously lent its name to Wales' greatest sporting venue which was to become home to the Welsh rugby team from 1884.

The National Ground, and now the Millennium Stadium, were both built on the Cardiff Arms Park site, which was an area of land bequeathed to the city of Cardiff for sports and recreation by the Marquis of Bute. In using the name Cardiff Arms - the hotel was demolished in 1882 - the WRU is ensuring the name will remain at the heart of Welsh rugby.

The new Cardiff Arms store, bar and cafe will be the gateway to the Millennium Stadium and the WRU's head offices. It will also allow the WRU to bring the unique Millennium Stadium match and event-day experiences even closer to the City.

The venue will officially open to the public tomorrow (Friday, 6 November) at 10.00am, ahead of the first Test in the four-match Invesco Perpetual Series, between Wales and New Zealand.

For the opening weekend, the WRU have launched a brand new hospitality service in the cafe/bar area upstairs, with tickets available for the match against New Zealand (£199 pp).

The package for the All Blacks game this weekend includes a premium location match ticket, complimentary bar of beer, wine and soft drinks, limited edition gift and match programme and the internationally renowned rugby star Jonathan Davies as guest speaker.

The fully licensed bar, which has a capacity of 300, will open from 10.30am to 11.00pm on Thursdays and Fridays for the first month and when Wales clash with Argentina on Saturday 21 November and Australia on Saturday 28 November.

The general opening hours for the WRU store, the new base for Millennium Stadium tours, will be 10.00am until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10.00am until 4.30pm on Sunday.

"This building is alongside the Millennium Stadium and really puts the Welsh Rugby Union right at the hub of the Cardiff City Centre," said WRU Group Finance Director Steve Phillips.

"The WRU will have a significant presence within the hustle and bustle of day-to-day City life with our fully stocked shop offering the entire range of our official merchandise and a bar/cafe which we hope will be a real 'must visit location' for City dwellers and visitors alike.

"The building is impressive, it is in a prime location and should become a thriving venue in a busy part of Cardiff by the week and on event days we also have great expectations of the match experience we will be able to offer."

The listed building, originally known as Jackson's racket club in the 1800s, has been leased on a long term basis. It has been completely renovated and will become a focal point for the many visitors - up to a thousand a week - who visit the Millennium Stadium.

An ever-changing array of rugby memorabilia will also be on display and the new 'public face' of Welsh rugby will be free to enter on non-event days, with the store area remaining open all year round.

"The first big match customers for the new building will be those fans who take up hospitality packages for the New Zealand game, which cost as little as £199 (excl. VAT) and guarantee premium tickets complimentary bar and the full Millennium Stadium experience," added Mr Phillips.

"Only a limited number of places are left for what is the last remaining official outlet for match tickets for the All Blacks fixture and the end of series clash with the Wallabies, with general tickets to both matches sold-out."

Hospitality packages are being sold this year, for the first time, on an individual basis with customers being offered the opportunity to share boxes, and, with extra tickets now available due to the opening of this new venue, fans have a unique opportunity to see history made when Warren Gatland's Wales take on the All Blacks, and receive VIP treatment at the same time.

If you are interested in purchasing hospitality for all games including this new venue, please call the hospitality team on: 08443 722722 or

Remaining tickets for the Samoa and Argentina matches in the Series are available from

Tickets for Wales v Samoa on Friday 13 November are priced at £15 for adults and £10 for children and tickets for Wales v Argentina on Saturday 21 November are available at £35, £45, £50 and £55.



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