“It’s logical at the same time, testifies Stéphane Elmont, the boss of Côtes et Mer (ex-Brasserie de l’Aviron Bayonnais): you go from a midweek evening match in Pro D2 to a meeting scheduled for the Saturday after – al noon in the Top 14, you can only get more crowds in town, even if, at Pro D2, we already had a lot of people on match nights, we were often full for large gatherings.A rugby match on a Saturday has the same repercussion that a festival day or fair in the city generates impressive concentrations. »
Aviron Bayonnais draws record crowds for every game. This is not from yesterday. The club exceeded 10,000 spectators at the Jean-Dauger more than 130 times. His unofficial record: 18,840 against Stade Toulousain (12-9 loss), in 2009. “We had a maximum capacity of 16,993, that’s the record,” specifies Alexandre Aubert, CEO of Rowing Bayonne. Last season, the light blue and white club unequivocally had the best attendance in the Pro D2: with an average of 9,590 spectators per game, Bayonne strutted ahead of Grenoble (7,575 spectators) and Vannes (7,471 spectators).
“We favor our subscribers by offering them an aggressive pricing policy and low call prices, the sooner you buy, the cheaper it is”
“Today, at this moment T, details the general director of the club, we are in a transition period with a stadium under construction. We have just inaugurated a new stand, the south, and our intermediate width before the final result will be 14,200 people. The goal is for it to be full all the time, for all the games, full of both the public and the economic fabric. »
This return to the Top 14 has a visible consequence for the professional club: it already has 7,000 subscribers. “We favor our subscribers by offering them an aggressive pricing policy and low call prices, the sooner you buy, the cheaper it is”, says Alexandre Aubert. The occupancy rate of the hospitality space is 97%. It is included in the number of subscribers. “And it will progress in the season because we will have new receptive spaces for the return phase. »
600 places requested by La Rochelle
The other advantage of promotion in the Top 14 is also the return of fans from “big” clubs like Bordeaux-Bègles, La Rochelle or Toulouse. “They have a public that comes to the Basque Coast at the weekend,” says Sébastien Oudill, chef and owner of the Hôtel des Basses Pyrénées. People in Bordeaux have booked rooms since Friday night; in the morning they will go shopping on the other side, they will see the ocean in Biarritz before returning for the game and they will have dinner in Bayonne! It is the entire economy of the Basque Country that benefits from a club in the Top 14, it is undeniable. »
“The Stade Rochelais has already asked us for 600 places, reveals Alexandre Aubert. With Toulouse, it is the public that travels to us the most. “There are also these advertising supporters who pay for a VIP trip to Bayonne. Like recently with Racing 92. “We had a lot of Parisian customers in the restaurant, with hours like this, at 5 pm on Saturdays, you work both at lunchtime and at night, it’s sport! “, Confirms Lionel Elissalde, the chef of Chez Martin, who deals with his partners (Sébastien Oudill and Sébastien Gravé) of hospitality at Palco, behind the official platform.