Over 100,000 tickets have been sold to ANZ Stadium’s upcoming football feast, as the Sydney venue gears up for its biggest weekend of sport since the 2000 Olympics.
The AFL and NRL’s contest to draw a larger crowd in their respective weekend finals fixtures remains on a knife’s edge.
Bumper crowds are expected when Sydney host Collingwood in an AFL preliminary final on Friday night before Canterbury and South Sydney meet in an NRL equivalent the following night.
The AFL confirmed on Wednesday night that 54,000 tickets to Sydney’s home final had been sold.
Interestingly, the figure is higher than the AFL game between Hawthorn and Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday, which has a total of 50,000 tickets sold.
A spokesperson for the NRL said at the same point in time, the league had shifted 51,000 tickets to the ANZ Stadium showdown between the ground’s two tenants.
The weekend’s combined attendance is set to comfortably outdo the most recent time the ground hosted back-to-back preliminary finals.
In 2006 over 60,000 fans went to the Swans-Fremantle AFL clash and a little over 40,000 attended St George Illawarra’s NRL match against Melbourne.
Depending on what figure the AFL delivers on Friday night, the ARL Commission will be desperate to better it the following night, particularly with many factors in their favour.
The top priced tickets to the AFL clash ($160) are double that of the NRL ($80).
Even the cheapest tickets to the AFL in the upper reaches of the spacious ground are twice as much ($70) than that for the 13-man game.
Given the disparity in ticket prices, even remotely similar crowds would mean a comparatively much larger financial windfall for the AFL.