The Golden Lions Rugby Union expects ticket sales to soar in the next few days leading up to the Super Rugby quarterfinal between the Lions and the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Edgar Rathbone, the chief financial officer at the Lions, said yesterday that, since last Friday, sales had picked up dramatically.
“Obviously, people first wanted to see who the Lions’ opponents would be this weekend. We expect a lot of Sharks fans to attend the game,” he said.
“It has picked up well from Friday to Monday, when we had already sold 15 000.”
Last year’s quarterfinal against the Crusaders, which the Lions won 42-25, drew more than 30 000 people, while more than 40 000 attended the semifinal against the Highlanders, which the Lions won 42-30.
Tickets are priced at R60, R100, R160 and R275 and the gates open at 12.30pm.
“We are hoping to see a crowd in the excess of 40 000 this weekend,” said Rathbone.
There will be live entertainment before and after the game and Rathbone said big screens would be erected at the two beer gardens, where spectators would be able to watch the later quarterfinal between the Stormers and the Chiefs at Newlands.
There will also be jumping castles for the kids and a braai area, while park and rides and the Gautrain will be in operation.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who could have three matches left with the team if they reach the final, said after last weekend’s 27-10 win over the Sharks he was hoping for a “good crowd” which could spur the team on to greater heights.