The RaboDirect PRO12 will have more than a million good reasons to celebrate this weekend when the gates for the season break through the seven figure mark in record time.
There has been a growth of 6.2% in attendances over the course of the season at the RaboDirect PRO12 games as fans have flocked to support their teams and heroes.
Last season the millionth fan came through the gates at the grand rinal at Thomond Park, and with 965,071 already through the turnstiles this season RaboDirect PRO12 Chief Executive John Feehan is preparing to welcome the millionth fan some time on Saturday night.
“It is great to see continued growth in our attendances, especially in these tough times. There have been huge increases in attendances this season as the competitiveness and quality of the rugby on offer in the RaboDirect PRO12 continues to capture the imagination of the fans in all four countries,” said Feehan.
“Given the first half of the season was being played while over 100 players were away on Rugby World Cup duty, the rise is even more pleasing. At its very best the RaboDirect PRO12 is the match for any tournament in the world
“Players like Alex Cuthbert, Dave Denton, Peter O’Mahony, Stuart Hogg, Justin Tipuric and Craig Gilroy have all come through this season to make their mark and the competition is becoming increasingly competitive.”
Three of this season’s semi-final places have already been secured by Leinster, the Ospreys and Munster, but the final round of regular fixtures will determine who plays who in the knock-out phase.
Glasgow Warriors, the Scarlets and Ulster all have mathematical chances of clinching the fourth spot.
Munster host Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday night, while Glasgow entertain Connacht at Firhill Stadium. The Scarlets end their regular season with a Welsh derby against the Cardiff Blues.