Exeter Rugby Club: Members Update November 2023


Exeter Rugby Club this week held their annual general meeting, with members travelling to Sandy Park Stadium for a financial review of the 22/23 trading year, as we continue our emergence from the challenges of the past four years and look forward to a bright future for our club.

Chairman & CEO Tony Rowe CBE made the point at the AGM that there can be no doubts of the scale of the economic tests that we have been set since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent energy crisis triggered by global instability. Exeter Rugby Club have navigated the trials with one eye on the future, and as we move into 2024, the future looks increasingly bright.

There have been some incredibly important landmarks within these past 12 months, which provide the signposts towards the sustainable commercial future that we are seeking. The Courtyard by Marriot Sandy Park hotel is now open and fully operational. The final costs of the construction of the hotel have been absorbed into this trading year contributing significantly the operating loss that the business saw, however we are now seeing this important arm of the business beginning to trade at a profit, securing some much-needed financial diversity for our organisation.

Alongside the Hotel, the Conferencing & Events side of the business has never been busier, with Sandy Park Stadium seeing more clients coming through its doors in 2023 than any other year to date. With current forecasts for 2024 showing even greater growth in this area, there is a huge amount to be positive about.

We are also delighted to announce that we have seen a very significant uplift in ticket sales as we head into the Winter period, with our Christmas fixture against Leicester Tigers set to achieve the largest crowd ever at Sandy Park, with a record sell-out on the cards, as well as major increases in the sales for our opening Investec Champions Cup match against Munster in just a couple of weeks time. Whilst the early stages of the season have proved challenging with the cost-of-living crisis continuing to impact initial sales, it is fantastic to see crowds returning to Sandy Park, and we look forward to welcoming many more of you through our gates in 2024.

As we head into the New Year, it is clear that for Tony Rowe, there is a huge amount to feel good about for members of the Exeter Rugby family.

“We aren’t trying to hide from the economic challenges of the past few years, but it feels very much as though we have turned a corner and are heading towards a profitable 2024.

“Whilst we are unable to control the external factors that have impacted the business, I am personally buoyed by the projections that we are seeing, particularly with the rise in ticket sales and the optimistic trading reports of the hotel, which is still very much in its infancy.

“I’d like to thank our Commercial Partners, Club Members and of course our fans, who have been with us throughout this challenging period and I look forward to heading into the New Year with bright prospects for our Rugby Club, both on and off the field.

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