Ticket sales for ANZ Stadium’s cross-code finals bonanza slowed on Thursday, as the AFL aimed to draw a record crowd to Friday night’s preliminary final at the venue.
On Thursday night, the AFL said 57,000 tickets had been sold to the Swans’ clash with Collingwood.
An NRL spokesperson said the league had moved the exact same number to Saturday night’s grand-final playoff between Canterbury and South Sydney.
The biggest crowd for any AFL game outside of Victoria is 72,393, which attended the round 21 fixture between the Swans and Magpies in 2003.
“It is (a different venue when a big crowd turns up),” Swans coach John Longmire said on Thursday.
“It’s fantastic to be able to have that sort of crowd out there … it’s a great opportunity for the players to play in front of a big crowd.”
The updated figures show 3000 tickets were sold on Thursday to the AFL fixture – and only 6000 NRL tickets were moved on the same day.
Regardless, the two finals are set to be the western Sydney venue’s biggest weekend of sport since the 2000 Olympics.
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.