Millennium Stadium Manager Gerry Toms is urging fans who have not yet snapped up their tickets for this weekend's Heineken Cup Semi-Final clash between Cardiff Blues and Leicester Tigers to do so early and avoid the queues on match day.
Tickets will be on sale all weekend at Ticketline and Gate Three of the Millennium Stadium and Mr Toms is advising fans to plan ahead as a large walk up crowd is expected for the semi-final showdown - the biggest game in Cardiff Blues rugby history. Twice already this season the Blues have raised their Heineken Cup home record gate at the home of Welsh rugby.
They beat Gloucester in front of a crowd of 27,114 in the Pool stages and then pipped Toulouse in the quarter-final with 36,728 fans roaring them on.
The Welsh region are heading towards the magical figure of 48,500 - hoping to eclipse the once world record club crowd that turned out to see Cardiff meet Newport at Cardiff Arms Park in 1951.
Gerry Toms said: "We've had great crowds at the previous Heineken Cup games here this season but have also experienced a huge number of people turning up on match day hoping to purchase tickets.
"We are well equipped to sell ticket on the day and will be selling up to kick-off but with a host of pre-match entertainment and the queues expected on what will be a sunny day out for rugby lovers in Cardiff we are calling on fans to help themselves, and us, by getting hold of their tickets as early as possible."
The 48,500 record which dates back to 1951 is set to be smashed this bank holiday weekend was born out of rivalry between the Blue and Blacks and Black and Ambers.
Support for rugby was so strong in those days that the four fixtures between the two clubs each season attracted massive crowds. The world record now stands at 81,600 at the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham Stadium last season, but that could be broken this weekend.
To put that gate in context, it was bigger than the old Cardiff club had for fixtures against many of the national touring teams at the old Cardiff Arms Park- Australia 1966 (35,000), 1975 (30,000), 1984 (20,000), South Africa 1969 (28,000), 1994 14,329, New Zealand 1980 (33,000), 1989 (28,000).
In fact, it was the biggest Cardiff home rugby gate, leaving out semi-finals and finals of cup competitions organised by other bodies, since New Zealand were the visitors on 21 October 1978 and played to a crowd of 43,000 at the National Ground, Cardiff Arms Park.
Already the Toulouse figure has been surpassed for Sunday's semi-final with 40,000 tickets sold by Friday. Next on the hit-list is the 1978 landmark of 43,000. Then it will be onwards to that 1951 figure.
Tickets for the game will be on sale on Saturday and Sunday from the Millennium Stadium Ticket Office (02920 822425) and are priced at £40, £30, £20 and £10 for concessions.
Sales this weekend will be from Ticketline and Millennium Stadium Ticket Office at Gate 3 in Westgate Street (Saturday 10am - 4.30pm and Sunday 9.00am - 3.40pm).
Warren Gatland has confirmed he will be joining the fast approaching 50,000-strong crowd at Judgement Day III on Saturday to run the rule over potential Wales Rugby World Cup squad members in the competitive surrounds of the Millennium Stadium.
Cardiff Blues are hosting a special Open Evening this Wednesday night at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park to give prospective students and parents the chance to discover more about our new and exciting rugby education programme.
The players at Cardiff Blues will be hoping to play with some true Gallic flair for the rest of the Guinness PRO12 season - after the region teamed up with a successful French bistrot in the Welsh capital.
Cardiff Blues will be celebrating St David's Day when the region faces Edinburgh Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 12.45pm) - with hundreds of children invited as part of our Regional Schools Day.
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