PRO14 final: Showdown between Glasgow Warriors and Leinster set to smash ticket records
A total of 46,092 supporters travelled to Dublin's Aviva Stadium for last year's showdown between Leinster and Scarlets, but The Scotsman understands more than 40,000 briefs for Saturday's clash have already been sold, with PRO14 chiefs eyeing a new record crowd at Celtic Park. Tickets have been snapped up since August last year, suggesting that neutral fans are just as keen to attend the showpiece final, which will be played in front of the largest crowd for a club match involving a Scottish team on Scottish soil, surpassing the 37,881 attendance for Edinburgh's Heineken Cup match with Toulouse at BT Murrayfield in 2012. The historic match, which kicks off at 6.30pm on Saturday evening - just hours after the Scottish Cup final between Hearts and Celtic at Hampden - is the first PRO14 final to be held at a traditional football venue as well as the first major rugby match to be staged at Celtic Park. An estimated total of 100,000 people are expected to attend both events. PRO14 chief executive Martin Anayi said: "Right from the beginning, Glasgow has proved a really enticing venue for our final and we can see the appeal that Celtic Park has had on rugby fans who want to experience this incredible stadium for themselves.“Now that supporters of Glasgow Warriors and Leinster know their teams are in the final, we’ve seen a huge demand for tickets in the lead-up to one of the most exciting games in the rugby calendar. Immediately after our Semi-finals on Friday and Saturday we saw an incredible rate of sales that we haven’t seen in the lead-up to the last three finals.“If we can break our previous record then that would see an amazing 100,000 football and rugby fans converging on Glasgow in a single day, making the city Europe’s undisputed sporting capital this weekend.”Remaining tickets are on sale priced at £25 for adults, £15 for concessions and just £1 for children. Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby's Chief Operating Officer and PRO14 Board Director, said: “This match is a unique opportunity to witness a world-class rugby final at a stadium renowned for having one of the greatest atmospheres in world sport."
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admitted it had been a "slightly surreal experience" seeing rugby posts set up on the Celtic Park pitch, adding: "Whatever the results at the weekend, the city of Glasgow will be the real winner. To be able to attract 100,000 sports fans to these two events would be a magnificent achievement."We’ve been working very closely with the Guinness PRO14 team to ensure that this match is a truly memorable experience for fans, no matter the result.”