Cardiff Blues have today thanked rugby fans for making the Official Fanzone at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park a huge success during the Rugby World Cup - as the countdown to rugby returning to the stadium gathers pace!
Thousands of fans flocked to the Fanzone at the home of Cardiff Blues during the Rugby World Cup to make it the ultimate place in the city to watch all the drama unfold.
A total of 158,969 visits were made to the attraction – an average of just shy of 14,500 for each of the 11 days it was open – making it the most popular across England and Wales!
The pitch has now returned at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park and rugby is back with Cardiff RFC playing Newport on Saturday (kick-off 1.30pm) before Cardiff Blues make a comeback on Saturday, November 7 (kick-off 3pm) when Guinness PRO12 champions Glasgow Warriors arrive.
And on the eve of rugby returning to the city centre venue – and the Rugby World Cup final this weekend – Chief Executive Richard Holland has thanked rugby fans for making the last six weeks such a memorable occasion.
“We were absolutely delighted by response to the Official Fanzone at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park,” he said. “It was great to see so many fans, from countries all around the world, at our home to enjoy the Rugby World Cup unfold.
“The atmosphere was electric and I’m sure many fans have taken home some fantastic memories of their time with us and we look forward to them returning in the future.
“It has meant that we haven’t had rugby here for a few months and we naturally want to thank fans and Season Ticket holders at both Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC for their patience and understanding during this time.
“We are now all excited to get rugby back here at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park with Cardiff RFC in derby action this weekend against Newport before Cardiff Blues return on November 7 when we welcome the Guinness PRO12 champions.
“We’ve been really encouraged by the displays of our team under the guidance of Danny Wilson in Ireland over the last four games. After a bonus point win over Zebre of the opening day, we have gone away from home and competed with all four Irish provinces and pushed them all the way. With a bit more fortune we could have easily secured some victories.
“We now face Zebre away this weekend before we are back on home soil. It would be fantastic for us to now replicate the level of support the Irish teams have enjoyed during this time, really pack the stadium out and welcome our Rugby World Cup players back when we face Glasgow next month.”
The home of Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC was totally transformed by Cardiff Council to become an official Rugby World Cup Fanzone, with fans able to watch big screens, engage in rugby activities, enjoy different food and drink options and lots of entertainment.
Jamie Muir, Stadium & Events Manager, at Cardiff Blues, said: “Hosting the Official Fanzone at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park was a complex process with a number of different stakeholders involved.
“However, through great teamwork everyone pulled together as one to deliver a fantastic experience for rugby fans to enjoy.
“We thank Cardiff Council for working so closely with us and everyone who attended the Official Fanzone to make it such a fantastic occasion throughout the Rugby World Cup.”
Phil Bale, Leader of Cardiff Council, which administered the fanzone, added: “Almost 159,000 people visited the Cardiff fanzone and the Rugby World Cup has been a tremendous success for Cardiff and the surrounding areas.
“It has brought in visitors from around the globe and reminded everyone that Cardiff is an events capital up there with the very best in the world.
“The Cardiff Official Fanzone was the busiest of all the sites across the UK, surpassing its target for 100,000 visitors, so we are delighted with the response.”