Fans were greeted with a greatly improved stadium and offering, alongside the freshly launched home and away kit which were on display in the Rodney Parade Superstore as well as on the pitch.
Fans also saw the wall of Gwent which was on display in both the Hazell Stand and the Bisley Stand. This striking piece displays all of the 73 clubs in Gwent showing off their club colours within their very own Dragons logo.
The Dragons Community Department put on a showcase event too with the Tata Steel U8’s TAG Festival which saw children from all areas of the region come together and take part in a round robin tournament on the Rodney Parade Training Pitch. All teams that took part were then given the chance to show their skills in a TAG Rugby demonstration on the field of play at half time, performing in front of thousands of supporters.
New for this season, the Burnett Suite Bar was opened due to the old clubhouse being closed. This pitch viewed facility will be open before and after all of the upcoming Dragons matches, allowing supporters to catch up in a traditional rugby environment.
Dragons CEO Stuart Davies commented: “The new season came at us very quickly after the events of the summer. I am delighted with what has been achieved in a short space of time, and thought that we staged a really good show that contributed to a fantastic atmosphere.
“Rodney Parade has been transformed; from the branding around the stadium to the superb, new pitch, it has all made a big difference to the look and feel of the place.
“After a summer of regional engagement though, somewhat ironically we started our campaign on a Saturday afternoon. As I have previously stated, we prefer Friday night games to avoid clashes with our district clubs. However, we will always support our TV partners and welcomed the selection of this game by both Sky Sports and S4C given the interest there is in what we are doing at the Dragons. The dual TV audience was accompanied by a really large crowd, and one that we haven’t come close to since our European Quarter Final against Cardiff Blues in 2015.
“So, this is a really encouraging start, but I’m also aware that we had a few minor issues with our new ticketing system, and I would like to thank everyone for their patience. All seasonal members will be sent or have already received their membership packs through the post, and we hope to see all of you at our next home match against Connacht next Friday night! And please turn up early, there’s plenty to enjoy before the game.”