United Rugby Championship CEO Martin Anayi has praised the league’s clubs for drawing in over 117,000 fans over the Christmas weekend as a new record attendance was set for the festive fixtures.
The figure of 117,448 for Round 10 is also the second-highest attendance in a single round in the league’s history. It falls just short of the overall highest total of 121,177 set in Round 21 of 2018 which included a single attendance of 62,338 for the Judgement Day games in Wales – highlighting the impressive achievement of this weekend with eight stand-alone fixtures.
More than 30000 of these fans came from the epic clash between North and South rivals, the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls at the DHL Stadium. A feat BBCo. Chief Commercial Officer, Stefan van der Merwe applauds Vodacom Bulls supporters on.
“We are incredibly lucky as a franchise to have the loyal support base that we do enjoy and for them to include us as part of their festive activities with their families is special. We do hope to continue seeing them turn up for our rugby matches going into the New Year because there is plenty of incredible rugby still to be seen.”
Martin Anayi, CEO, United Rugby Championship said: “We are thrilled for all of our clubs who hosted such fantastic crowds over the Christmas weekend after a couple of years of disruption. All of them are working hard to deliver great fan experiences off the pitch and offer an attractive style of rugby on it.
“The Vodacom URC drew record-breaking TV audiences in year one, now fans have the confidence to return to stadiums and to attract 117,000 in one weekend speaks to the incredible efforts of our clubs. To see 55,000 attend two games in South Africa where they have never played at this time of year before is especially pleasing as the Vodacom URC continues to capture the imagination.”
Similar crowds are expected again this weekend in R11 with home games taking place in Belfast, Cape Town, Cardiff, Dublin, Durban, Edinburgh, Llanelli and Parma.
FANS WILL RING IN THE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS WITH A FULL DERBY WEEKEND
Friday night lights returns to BT Murrayfield as Edinburgh Rugby look to bounce back with a win over Glasgow Warriors.
The New Years Eve fixtures sees derbies in Italy & South Africa. Benetton make the trip to Zebre Parma, Cell C Sharks welcome Vodacom Bulls to Durban while Emirates Lions travel to Cape Town to face defending Vodacom URC Champions, DHL Stormers.
On New Years Day, there are derby games in Wales & Ireland. Cardiff Rugby host Ospreys while Dragons RFC face Scarlets. Munster make the trip to Ulster while league leaders Leinster welcome Connacht to Dublin.