Ospreys fans are being warned that they face missing out on the big Christmas derby match against the Scarlets if they don't move swiftly to buy tickets as demand for tickets for the festive Magners League clash reaches unprecedented levels.
With more than seven weeks to go until the big match, Ospreys bosses today revealed that advance ticket sales are already approaching 13,000, with more than 2,000 snapped up in the last fortnight as the game looks set to become only third ever 20,520 sell out at the Liberty Stadium.
With the Scarlets requesting an allocation of 3,750 as per Magners League regulations, they have been allocated the North Stand, effectively meaning that more than 16,000 seats are already accounted for, leaving less than 5,000 still available for Ospreys fans to purchase.
Ospreys Managing Director, Roger Blyth, said:
"It's truly astounding that we are already looking at having under 5,000 tickets remaining on general sale for Ospreys supporters for this match. Current sales figures are well ahead of where they where when we sold out this fixture two seasons so it is clear that we are heading towards another Liberty Stadium capacity crowd, which is excellent news. The Ticket Office staff have been dealing with a constant stream of supporters picking up their tickets for this game and if sales continue as they have been we could well be looking at putting up the sold out signs a month or so ahead of the game.
"A local derby is a traditional part of the festive period, and my strong advice would be that anyone planning on attending the game with their family and friends should act to get their tickets as soon as possible. It is clear that no-one will be able to just turn up on the day and buy a ticket, so the message to all fans is don't hang around or you're going to be disappointed."
Demand for the fixture is such that the East Stand is fast approaching capacity. Whilst the Scarlets have received an initial allocation of 600 tickets to sell, an additional 3,000 are being held back for their supporters and any Scarlets fans purchasing direct from the Liberty Stadium are being advised to make it known to Ticket Office staff so that they can be allocated seats in the North Stand.
Roger Blyth explained the reasoning behind allocating the Scarlets one area of the ground:
"With the Scarlets requesting their full allocation, as they are perfectly entitled to under Magners League regulations, we felt that it would be best to allocate them to the North Stand area of the ground for two main reasons. Firstly, to make it easier for Ticket Office as they are not dealing with tickets all around the ground, and secondly, to help enhance the matchday atmosphere. We've noticed in previous fixtures that when opposing supporters are spread out in different areas around the ground then it is very difficult for them to make much of a noise, so by putting them all together we hope that we will overcome this problem, helping to generate a much better atmosphere for everybody there on the day, Osprey or Scarlet!"
The Ospreys are continuing to run a special offer through the rugby clubs across the region, where group bookings of 20 more receive their tickets for half price. The deadline for this offer with regards to the Scarlets match, is November 14th, so anyone with links to their local rugby club in Ospreylia is encouraged to contact the club to check whether they are making a group booking for the game.
The two previous capacity crowds at the Liberty Stadium have both been for Ospreys fixtures. The historic win over the touring Australians was watched by the first ever sell out crowd in November 2006, with the Boxing Day clash against the Scarlets the following month also played out in front of a full-house as the Ospreys romped to a 50-24 win.
Tickets for the match are currently available to buy at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com or via the Ticket Hotline on 08700 400 004, priced from £20 (adults), with child prices starting at £4.
Tickets are also on sale for the Heineken Cup clash with Benetton Treviso at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday December 13th. For group bookings of 20 or more for this match, please contact Barny Harper at the Ospreys on 0870 990 9175.