EPCR officials have confirmed that the Principality Stadium roof will be closed this weekend, when the Ospreys face Stade Francais in the Challenge Cup quarter-final (Sunday, 5.45pm KO).
With both teams agreeing to the closure, Ospreys bosses are expecting it to enhance the atmosphere inside the stadium for the last eight tie, the first European knockout game for the region in seven years.
Ospreys Rugby Managing Director, Andrew Millward, said:
“We are all excited about Sunday’s game and what promises to be a cracking contest. Stade Francais are a big, powerful team packed with world class players and they will come to Cardiff at the weekend full of confidence after defeating Toulon on Sunday.
“This is our first European quarter-final since 2010 and it’s going to be a wonderful occasion. Closing the roof will only make it more enjoyable for everybody, keeping the noise in and helping to create a memorable atmosphere for what we hope will turn out to be a memorable 80 minutes for all the right reasons.”
Although the game kicks off at 5.45pm at the Millennium Stadium, there is a full afternoon of activity next door at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park to keep everybody entertained in the build up to the big game.
The iconic venue, home of Cardiff Blues, will host a special tag rugby festival in conjunction with Ospreys in the Community, with 45 teams at U7, U8, U9 and U10 levels from 14 clubs involved.
The festival will support the WRU’s Half a Game initiative, launched last year to encourage and grow participation among younger children, guaranteeing game time for all young players.
Meanwhile, supporters of not only the two teams, but rugby in general, are invited to use the Arms Park as their base for the day with the club house open for business from 2pm, providing a convenient meet up point for those heading to Cardiff.
With food and drink available, you can support the youngsters as they enjoy their tag festival before live entertainment gets underway in the club house from 4.30pm.
There will also be an appearance from non playing squad members and a Q&A ahead of kick-off to help you get in the mood for the big match.
“Bringing together community clubs at the home of the Blues on the afternoon of such a big match ticks so many boxes, in terms of participation and allowing these children to then experience first class action at the home of Welsh rugby.
“Likewise with supporters enjoying access to the facilities at the Arms Park. With its city centre location it’s a perfect place for supporters heading to Cardiff to meet up ahead of the game and really start to soak up the big match atmosphere ahead of kick-off and we hope to see it packed out there on Sunday afternoon.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game remain available to purchase from the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office and the WRU Ticket Office on Westgate Street in Cardiff, as well as online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets priced at just £10 (U16s £5).
While tickets will be available to buy from the WRU Ticket Office on Sunday right up until kick-off supporters are advised to buy in advance to avoid the inevitable last minute match day queues.