European Cup clashes attract record crowds
April 11, 2000
The all-French Heineken Cup quarter final between 1996 European champions Toulouse and Montferrand is officially a 38,000 sell-out and with all the quarter-finals attracting capacity crowds, the battle for semi-final places will pull in 72,200 through the turnstiles.
The game at Stade Municipale, Toulouse, on 15 April will set a record for the tournament as the biggest crowd outside a final - bettered only by the 41,664 at the 1997 final and the 49,000 who turned up in Dublin last season to see Ulster crowned champions of Europe.
"We sold the last 50 tickets, those in one of the corners of the pitch, 11 days before the match," said Toulouse Chief Executive, Jean-Luc Brumont, "It means we will have a sell-out capacity of 38,000 - a record crowd for any Heineken Cup match in France.
"The enthusiasm of the supporters is incredible, we have never known anything like it before. Montferrand have sold their full quota of just over 9,000 tickets and it should be a huge occasion. The Heineken Cup is the biggest tournament we play in and the players are determined to be crowned champions of Europe once again."
Munster have sold all 13,400 tickets for their clash with Stade Francais at Thomond Park, Limerick; Llanelli will have an 11,000 Stradey Park sell-out for their all-Welsh clash with Cardiff and the Sunday "best of England battle" between Northampton Saints and London Wasps will see 9,685 pack into Franklin's Gardens.
And with all the quarter-finals being televised live - BBC Grandstand repeating their weekend "double-header" from the final Pool stage - the last eight battles are set to attract bumper television audiences of over 10,000,000 tuning into BBC, FR2, RTE and Canal +.