Connacht’s record-breaking season looks set to continue with another capacity crowd expected for the upcoming RaboDirect PRO12 derby match against Munster on Saturday, March 24.
The advent of Heineken Cup rugby at the Sportsground, coupled with a vast improvement in facilities, have seen crowds swell at the College Road venue this season.
The interprovincial meeting of Connacht and Munster, traditionally one of the biggest fixtures in the westerners’ rugby calendar, has all the ingredients of another great night for supporters.
Commenting on the surge in ticket sales, Connacht Rugby’s new head of marketing Alex Saul said: “We’ve had a massive increase in support this year and not only for Heineken Cup fixtures.
“Last season for example we sold around 2,800 tickets for the Glasgow and Edinburgh home games combined, whereas this year we sold over 8,500 for the two fixtures.
“That’s a huge increase, especially for two matches in the middle of February, during the RBS 6 Nations when our support wouldn’t traditionally be as strong.
“There’s a really positive vibe about the place and the fans are clearly enjoying the progress being made at the Sportsground at the moment.
“The Clan Bar was packed after the Edinburgh game and the feedback from our supporters is that they are excited for next year already.”
Connacht have broken attendance records already this season as supporters flocked to Galway to see Connacht take on Toulouse, the mighty aristocrats of European rugby in their maiden Heineken Cup season, and a further record attendance was set for Connacht in the league when Leinster visited on New Year’s Day.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time at Connacht Rugby, the crowds have made a huge impact on the atmosphere at the Sportsground and there is a lot of work being done off field at the moment to build on that momentum into next season,” added Saul.
“Off the field there have been some big names added to the squad for next season with Dan Parks and Nathan White joining the province.
“Their added experience, coupled with the re-signing of some of our brightest talents such as Eoin Griffin, David McSharry and Tiernan O’Halloran, will make for a very competitive team next season.
“All this activity is clearly rubbing off on people. With three weeks to go to our league fixture with Munster it’s really encouraging to see that ticket sales are so strong.
“The fact that there are less than 1,000 tickets left means the match is certain to be a sell-out and it promises to be another fantastic night at the Sportsground.”
Tickets for Connacht’s next home game against Munster can be purchased from www.connachtrugby.ie, or from the Connacht Rugby Branch offices on College Road in Galway.