Townsend predicts Glasgow success as Warriors see a surge in ticket sales
GREGOR TOWNSEND has expressed his delight at the response by Glasgow Warriors rugby fans who have been flocking in such large numbers to buy season tickets that the club is certain to begin life at their new home backed by a record number of committed ticket holders.
Warriors yesterday announced that more than 1130 supporters had already signed up for the inaugural campaign of RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup rugby at Scotstoun Stadium – a 50 per cent increase on the corresponding date last year and on the verge of surpassing their previous high – despite launching their package deals only eight weeks ago.
Townsend, who succeeded Sean Lineen in the role of head coach in March, responded by confidently predicting that, having witnessed their team reach the semi-finals of the RaboDirect competition twice in the last three seasons, the fans will see further progress during the coming year.
Townsend, along with new signings Angus MacDonald, the former All Blacks flanker, English Premiership lock Tim Swinson and Scotland Sevens centre Byron McGuigan, recently welcomed 200 of the club’s supporters, and he was impressed by the fans enthusiasm.
“It was terrific to meet so many supporters at the Open Day last week, and to hear we’re days away from establishing a record number of season ticket members is tremendously exciting,” said Townsend.
“The players have returned to pre-season training absolutely determined to build on the progress that was made last year, and with a lot of hard work from everyone, I’m convinced we will be even better this season.”
With increased investment from Scottish Rugby, Tonga’s World Cup No.8 Viliami Ma’afu, returning fans’ favourite Sean Lamont and Taylor Paris – the youngest player ever to be capped by Canada at both 15s and sevens – have been added to the squad along with MacDonald, Swinson and McGuigan.
Meanwhile, 19 of the players who played a key role in Warriors’ consistent form of last season have been re-signed in recent months, making up a squad which now boasts 20 full internationalists.
Combined with the impact of the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, which enjoyed a successful debut at Scotstoun last month and will return to the stadium next May, it is an exciting time for the club.
Managing director Nathan Bombrys said: “Everyone at Glasgow Warriors is motivated by the possibility we have to achieve something that’s never been done before – winning a major trophy.
“We’re delighted the supporters share our enthusiasm for the coming season and the opportunities it presents for the club to keep moving forward on and off the pitch.
“My colleagues and I have enjoyed the chance to show supporters round our new home, and it’s gratifying to hear their excitement about the move. It’s great news that we’re very close to breaking our previous season ticket membership record, and we look forward to welcoming even more members to the fold over the coming weeks.
“We really appreciate the backing our fans and Scottish Rugby provide, and acknowledge their sustained support.”
Scotstoun provides Warriors with a combined playing, training and administrative base, the first time the club has enjoyed an integrated facility of this type.
With a reserve seating policy in place to ensure that season ticket holders enjoy the best views, the prime spots in both the Main and North stands have ben selling fast.
As of yesterday, fewer than 10 packages were required to be sold in order to beat the current record, which was set for the 2010/11 campaign. With sales continuing to flow on a daily basis, the club has advised that supporters do not delay their purchase.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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