GLOUCESTER'S managing director Ken Nottage has hailed the record breaking launch of the new C&G Grandstand at Kingsholm - and has pledged to rectify early teething problems.
Gloucester's 29-7 Guinness Premiership victory over Worcester on Saturday was watched by a record Kingsholm crowd just shy of 16,000, the ticket office, new club shop and bar facilities all reported record sales as Dean Ryan's side consolidated their position at the head of the table.
"I don't think it is possible to overplay just how much work went into making Saturday's occasion a success - to deliver an event of that magnitude was a huge testament to the efforts made by everyone at the club.
"A record crowd really says everything you need to know about the excitement, feeling and anticipation with which we have started the season - and to win under those circumstances was perfect.
"We are obviously aware of certain logistical and seating issues and we are working immediately to rectify them but I would be very disappointed if that detracted from our stand opening and victory."
Nottage added that a few seats broke in the C&G Stand during the game on Saturday and revealed all the seats will be rectified and thoroughly checked ahead of Gloucester's Guinness Premiership match against Sale Sharks on Saturday, October 13.
"Understandably, we are taking this issue very seriously and all the seats will be re-tested and examined before our next game," he said. "We know exactly where in the stand the problems occurred and as a result the club and the contractors will be offering season ticket holders a refund based on their season ticket package and a free ticket to our EDF Energy Cup match against Newcastle.
"Supporters who purchased a seat on a match by match basis will also receive a full refund and a free ticket to the EDF game. We don't want these very unfortunate cases to detract from what we are trying to achieve.
"Our supporter care and the importance of a fantastic Kingsholm experience to home and away fans are vital to us and that is why we are offering this refund to people affected - it is the least we can do - and hope it goes someway to rectifying the problems encountered at the weekend."
Anna Mitchell, Gloucester's ticket officer manager, added: "Our staff have never experienced such a busy matchday, particularly after the new ticket office only became active that morning.
"We sold close to 1,000 tickets on the day of the game - the excitement generated by the C&G stand has really grabbed the imagination of the supporters and although it was hard work, very rewarding."
The new club shop also reported record first day takings, while Rob Mewes, Gloucester's bar manager also reported bumper sales.
"I have never experienced anything like it - and we have some massive games at Kingsholm in recent years. The bars were packed before and after the game - the atmosphere was electric. It was great for the club."
For further information, please contact the ticket office, based by the Shed bar, on 0871 871 8781 (option 2).
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).