Heineken Cup: Record-breaking weekend
A new Heineken Cup quarter-final attendance record will be set tomorrow at Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium, venue for the all-French clash between Perpignan and Toulon.
The 55,000 sell-out crowd will surpass the previous quarter-final high of 48,500 at the old Lansdowne Road, Dublin, in 2005 when Leinster met Leicester Tigers, an attendance matched a year later when Munster and Perpignan went head to head.
Tomorrow’s other quarter-final — Leinster versus Leicester Tigers in a re-run of the 2009 Heineken Cup final — will also see the old record beaten. The Aviva Stadium, meanwhile, is sold out, with 51,700 scheduled to pack the space-age Dublin 4 venue.
It’s also a case of sold-out signs on Sunday at stadium:mk in Milton Keynes for the Anglo-Irish contest between top seeds Northampton Saints and Ulster, and at Estadio Anoeta where Biarritz Olympique will face Toulouse in a re-run of last year’s final.
That means there could be close on 160,000 fans going through the turnstiles in three countries — a figure second only to the tournament high of 162,500 for the 2005 quarter-finals.