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Loftus helps set a new URC attendance record

NEWS: Over 146,000 fans have helped the United Rugby Championship to break its all-time single-round attendance record for the second time in three weeks.

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The crowd of 26,632 at Loftus Versfeld in South Africa helped push the total attendance for Round Nine to 146,046 setting a new record for a single-round attendance in the league.

Earlier this month a figure of 135,747 was reached for the Round Eight fixtures in the URC which saw bumper crowds and sold-out venues across Christmas and early New Year. Now, just a number of weeks later the final game of Round Nine between the Bulls and the Lions has helped to shatter the previous record by at least 10,000.

This comes off the back of a record 1.6million total attendance for the 2022/23 URC season which also saw the highest-ever crowd for the league’s Grand Final (56,334) while an all-time high of 37.4million watched across the campaign.

Seven of the Round Nine games took place across the New Year period with Edinburgh breaking a record of their own as a total of 37,904. At the same time, the Stormers continued their trend of attracting big numbers for their home derbies as 37,246 packed into their Cape Town home to see them take on the Sharks.

Elsewhere in Round Nine, Connacht, Ospreys and Benetton all put up the sold-out signs while Dragons had a season-high crowd against Scarlets in what ultimately proved to be the highest attended single round in the league’s history.

Commenting on yet another attendance milestone, Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said: “To be acknowledging another attendance record so soon after setting the previous achievement is hard to believe. Once again, we take our hats off to our clubs who are taking great strides in promoting their games and providing fans with match-day experiences that keep drawing them back.

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“Alongside the strong attendances, we know the broadcast audiences were also in high numbers and it’s clear that the URC is going from strength to strength thanks to the support of everyone involved and the ever-increasing competitive nature of the league.”

Round Nine – Attendance by fixture

Benetton v Zebre Parma: 5,000
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors: 37,904
Stormers v Sharks: 37,246
Ospreys v Cardiff: 8,159
Connacht v Munster: 7,240
Dragons RFC v Scarlets: 7,617
Bulls v Lions: 26,632

Total attendance: 146,046

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Previous best single round attendances:

135,747 – Round Eight of the 2023/24 season
123,307 – Round 11 of the 2022/23 season
121,117 – Round 21 of the 2017/18 season
117,448 – Round 10 of the 2022/23 season

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