Act now or miss out is the warning to rugby fans in south west Wales after Ospreys bosses today revealed that less than 1,500 tickets remain available on general sale for the eagerly anticipated festive Magners League clash with the Scarlets.
The derby fixture, which also attracted a 20,520 capacity crowd when the two sides clashed on Boxing Day 2006, has once again fired the imagination of the south Wales rugby public, with over 18,000 tickets already snapped up five weeks ahead of the big match, and a further 1,000 North Stand seats being held back for Scarlets fans.
With tickets selling at the rate of 3,000 per week, it is anticipated that the eagerly awaited clash will become only the third ever sell- out at the £27million venue, with all tickets gone within a matter of days.
Ospreys Managing Director Roger Blyth said:
"To be approaching a sell out with five weeks remaining is excellent news and is a clear indication that what supporters want is the big derby fixtures to be played at a time when friends and families can come together to watch the match. When the Scarlets played here at Christmas time two seasons ago there was a similar response with the game sold out before December was even upon us, and this time we are ahead of where we were in terms of sales, so there is no doubt that this fixture will be a complete sell-out very soon.
"The stark reality of the situation is if you don't buy your ticket over the next few days you'll be too late. We appreciate that sometimes it can be difficult to commit yourself to something over Christmas so far in advance, but if you don't secure your ticket this week then you will have to make do with watching the match on television.
"It is sure to be an evening to remember, two local rivals doing battle in front of a capacity crowd of 20,520. It is the type of occasion which the players will thrive on, and as an organisation, we can take great pride in."
Full-back Lee Byrne says that the players will be looking forward to a repeat of the 2006 showing, when he was one of five Ospreys try- scorers as they romped to a 50-24 win over their rivals from across the Loughor Bridge. He said:
"It was a fantastic afternoon, a sell-out crowd getting behind the team, generating a fantastic atmosphere, and we were able to respond with probably our best performance of the season. It's great news that this year's game will also be a sell-out, all rugby players want to play big matches in front of big crowds, and for Ospreys fans, a capacity crowd for a Christmas fixture against our closest rivals is as big as it gets. With nearly 20,000 people getting behind us, we'll be looking to respond in the same way as we did two seasons ago, making sure that we can send our fans home knowing that the Ospreys are number one in this part of the world.
"It's a big game for us, with local pride at stake, and it comes in the middle of a busy period, with Magners League games away to the Dragons and the Blues over the course of the Christmas holidays where we'll be aiming to make sure we come out on top of a Welsh mini-league."
Supporters who have still to secure their tickets for the game can pick them up in person at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com, or via the Ticket Hotline on 08700 400 004.
Tickets are also currently on sale for the Ospreys crucial Heineken Cup clash with Benetton Treviso on Saturday 6th December and the Magners League fixture against Munster on Friday 9th January.