Belfast Telegraph

Celtic Park to host Guinness Pro14 final in historic move for season climax

Celtic Park will host the Guinness Pro14 final next season in an historic move.

It will be the first time the game will be played at a non-rugby venue when the tie takes to the Glasgow ground on Saturday, May 25.

Celtic's stadium has a capacity of 60,832 and will bring a record attendance for the fourth season in a row.

This year's Pro14 final was played at the Aviva Stadium as Leinster beat the Scarlets in front of 51,700 spectators but due to Celtic Park's size, that record will tumble in Glasgow.

Celtic Park has never hosted a rugby union match before. The closest it came was back in 1909 when a rugby league encounter between Australia and England was played at the ground.

Other sports have visited the famous football stadium more recently as Celtic Park was the venue for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony back in 2014.

Ulster last reached the league decider in 2013, when they were defeated by Leinster. The last time the province got their hands on the trophy was back in 2006.

Nevertheless, optimistic fans can already register their interested for tickets for next year's final. Fans can click here to gain priority access to tickets before the general sale opens on August 21.

Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, said: “Bringing our Final to a world-famous stadium like Celtic Park is a truly historic step in the evolution of the Guinness PRO14. Since introducing Destination Final venues in 2015 we have seen the event thrive by making it about fans of rugby and not just the supporters of the two teams competing for the trophy.

“The bid put forward by Scottish Rugby, Celtic FC and the City of Glasgow was compelling from the very beginning and we’re certain that fans across the Guinness PRO14 will share in our excitement. Glasgow has so much to offer in terms of hospitality, culture and heritage and like our previous Finals in Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast we can offer fans so much more than just a rugby experience.

“In the past number of seasons we have made many bold decisions which have transformed the Guinness PRO14 for the better and the choice of Celtic Park as the venue for the 2019 Final is yet another signal of our ambition to provide the best club rugby tournament possible for our clubs and our fans.”

Peter Lawwell, CEO of Celtic FC, said: “We are very proud that the Guinness PRO14 Final is coming to Celtic Park for what we’re sure will be a fabulous occasion for the city of Glasgow, rugby supporters and for Celtic.

“Celtic Park is a world-class venue and our success of hosting events in the 2014 Commonwealth games and on Champions League nights where we have welcomed some of the biggest names in world football, proves that the stadium can produce unforgettable experiences time after time.

“We look forward to welcoming rugby fans from far and wide to Paradise on May 25 to share in the atmosphere of Celtic Park, we are sure it is an experience they will enjoy immensely.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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