Rhinos launch Project Ronnie as they prepare to welcome crowds back to Emerald Headingley

Leeds Rhinos are appealing to their Partners and Season Members to help them work with the authorities to get crowds back into Emerald Headingley in 2020 by signing up for Project Ronnie.

Leeds Rhinos 2020 Season Members will be given the first priority should the Rhinos be in a position to allow significant crowds back to Emerald Headingley before the end of the Betfred Super League 2020 Season. 

Earlier today it was announced that Emerald Headingley will be part of a pilot process for Rugby League on Wednesday 30th September as the Government granted permission for four fixtures to be staged with just 1,000 fans at each.

Whilst the pilot will be dealt with separately by the club and local authorities as a one off event, the club are planning for the potential next phase when more members can return to Emerald Headingley with spectators.

As part of Project Ronnie, the club has committed to continue to make the stadium COVID secure for players, staff and spectators with increased hygiene and social distancing provisions. Emerald Headingley has successfully hosted eleven Betfred Super League games behind closed doors, more than any other venue with thorough protocols successfully put in place to protect everyone who has entered the stadium.

The next step is the pilot game which will hopefully be followed by the re-introduction of fans to the stadium once government guidelines allow this in England. As part of this process, the club are asking 2020 Season Members who wish to attend games to complete a simple online process to let them know if they DO want to attend matches in 2020.

Leeds Rhinos Operations Director, Sue Ward commented, “We are working with the RFL and the relevant authorities to make sure as soon as we can have spectators back at Emerald Headingley that we are ready to go. Project Ronnie allows everyone to play their part by making sure they are registered with us to let us know if they want to attend games. That will give us an accurate figure to work with to ensure social distancing guidelines and hygiene plans can be implemented correctly to create a COVID secure environment and put us in the best possible position to increase capacity in the future.”

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington added, “Everyone must play their part in helping us achieve our ultimate goal of having spectators back at matches. Initially that is our Season Members letting us know if they want to attend matches in 2020. Our commitment is to make sure the stadium is the most COVID secure facility we can create and that we follow all guidelines set down by the authorities. The final piece of the jigsaw will be making sure that everyone adheres to the guidelines so that, not only can we welcome fans back but importantly that we can keep fans coming back. We understand that some Season Members will not want to return in the current climate but those who do must let us know so we can plan accordingly.”

Leeds Rhinos 2020 Gold and Silver Season members need to head to tickets.therhinos.co.uk  and register their interest to return for matches in 2020 and if there are any other Rhinos 2020 Season Members within the group they usually attend games with. The club is aware that not all Season Members share the same household address and some may be dependent on others to attend matches (e.g. a parent and child who live separately) therefore Season Members are asked to ensure that they include everyone in their group that they attend with in one registration and where possible, the Rhinos will aim to facilitate these requests.

All instructions as to how Season Members need to register are available via tickets.therhinos.co.uk – the person completing the registration is reminded to have Season Membership customer numbers (stated on Season Membership cards) for all Rhinos 2020 Season Members within their party otherwise they will be unable to complete the registration. They must ensure that you have submitted their registration before 12noon on Thursday 24th September.

COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways and therefore, if you DO NOT wish to attend if we are able to have matches with crowds you DO NOT need to contact us, we will assume you have decided not to attend but we hope to welcome you back to Emerald Headingley Stadium in the near future.  

Because of the limited capacities involved, the club are unable to incorporate Leeds Rhinos 2020 Flexi Members into this process and therefore Leeds Rhinos Customer Experience Team will begin to action the requests in next couple of weeks that Flexi Members placed back in July.

As the majority of Leeds Rhinos staff remain furloughed, the Leeds Rhinos Ticket Office and Club Shop remain closed at the stadium until further notice as do the phone lines. If members have any specific questions, please email [email protected]. Responses may take up to 5 working days. Please note that the club at present are still in the planning stages to host games with spectators and therefore we are not able to provide specific detail – this will be communicated when it is confirmed.