As preparations for the Ospreys' return to the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field this weekend continue, key political leaders in Bridgend have welcomed the decision to bring first class rugby back to the town
The Ospreys hosted their first ever competitive fixture at the home of Bridgend RFC last November in front of a full house, as thousands of local rugby fans ignored horrendous weather conditions to support the region as they romped to a 46-13 win over Leicester Tigers, and have confirmed two more visits to the town this season, with 2011 Heineken Cup finalists Northampton Saints first up on Saturday evening (KO 6.00pm).
Once again, the game has caused a real stir across the county, with tickets flying out from both the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office and the Riverside Hardware, and another great rugby occasion is expected, with fans flocking into Bridgend from the length and breadth of Ospreylia and beyond.
The games will provide a welcome boost to the local economy, with supporters spending money in and around the town centre throughout the day, and Councillor Mel Nott, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, welcomed the return of top class rugby to the area, hailing the benefits it will bring to Bridgend:
Councillor Nott said:
“Bridgend is passionate about rugby. We are known for our fantastic support for the game at every level, from grass roots to the national side who have put in such a fantastic performance at the World Cup.
“These fans want and deserve the opportunity to support first class regional rugby in their own back yard and there is a real buzz about the Ospreys’ return to the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field. As a council we are the key drivers of local regeneration and see the positive and growing relationship with the Ospreys as a great boost to this.”
Ospreys Chief Operations Officer, Andrew Hore, added:
“It’s going to be a pretty special occasion. Similar to last year, when the people of Bridgend and the surrounding area really welcomed the Ospreys, the response has been brilliant once again. Bridgend is a massive part of our region, and the local communities are at the heart of what we are doing, and taking games like this to the Brewery Field can only make them feel truly Ospreylian.
“The assistance and co-operation we’ve received from Bridgend County Borough Council has been first class. Like us, they recognise the importance of first class regional rugby to Bridgend, and that our presence at the Brewery Field for these games can have a positive impact on town centre trading, with visitors coming into the town spending money in local shops, bars and restaurants.
“Not only that, the promotion that the town will get from hosting these games will help to put Bridgend back on the worldwide rugby stage, with supporters once again talking about the town, and the historic Brewery Field ground which has been home to some of the biggest names in Welsh, and world, rugby.
“Our business outlook is all about creating sustainable success for the future. Working in partnership with Bridgend RFC and Bridgend County Borough Council, and having a positive impact on the local economy through these matches, we are staying true to our words and helping them to drive the regeneration of the local area.”