Cardiff to host a European double
European Rugby Cup have confirmed that Cardiff City Stadium will host the Amlin Challenge Cup final on Friday, May 20.
The tournament organisers have tended to wait until much later in the season to name the venue for the final of the second-tier competition, but Monday's decision means that the Welsh capital will now host both European finals this season, with the Millennium Stadium having already been confirmed as the venue for the Heineken Cup final.
Cardiff City Stadium, the home of defending Challenge Cup winners Cardiff Blues, has a capacity of 26,828 and becomes the first Welsh ground to host the fixture. The Millennium Stadium has already hosted the Heineken Cup final on three previous occasions.
"Traditionally, we have waited until much closer to the date before selecting the stadium for the Amlin Challenge Cup final," said ERC chief executive Derek McGrath.
"However, the tournament has grown in stature to the extent that we are delighted to announce the final venue almost six months in advance of the match itself.
"Last season's innovative decision to include three Heineken Cup clubs in the Amlin Challenge Cup knock-out stages provided a major boost to the competition, and by announcing the venue for the 2011 final at this time, participating teams as well as fans of European club rugby now know that all roads lead to Cardiff for the weekend of 20 and 21 May.
"The Heineken Cup final has become an important date in the sporting calendar and we believe there is an opportunity to offer fans a tremendous culmination to the European season with a celebration of the best teams in the two ERC tournaments.
"Ultimately, those four teams will compete for two European trophies in one city. May 20 and 21 promises to be a memorable weekend of sporting action."
ERC also confirmed that fans who have already purchased tickets for the Heineken Cup final will be able to buy Amlin Challenge Cup final tickets at a discount.