Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Loftus sold out for big Bulls v Stormers URC derby

The Bulls and Stormers clash at just after 5pm on Saturday.


The Bulls and Stormers will play in front of a sold-out Loftus Versfeld Stadium crowd in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

This was confirmed by the Bulls late Friday, when they tweeted a picture of the stadium and said: “Loftus is officially sold out for the North/South derby”

The stadium, which is home to the Bulls and football club Sundowns, can take 51,762 fans when packed to the rafters.

The United Rugby Championship match between the arch-rivals from the north and south kicks off at 5.05pm. This is the first time in 12 years that a provincial match featuring the Bulls — at Loftus — will be sold out, a tournament record for a fixture held in South Africa during the regular season.

Loftus Versfeld

The site of where Loftus stadium is today was first used for sporting activities in 1906, and the field was simply called the Eastern Sports Ground. The first concrete structure was erected there by the City Council in 1923, which is the official opening date of the stadium.

The original structure could only accommodate 2,000 spectators and did not have proper sports facilities.

Major renovations took place in 1977 and in 1984 and then again in 2008 ahead of the Fifa World Cup.

Jake White’s Bulls are currently third on the URC table with seven wins from 10 matches while the Stormers, inaugural winners of the URC competition two seasons ago, are sixth with six wins from 10 matches.

‘Special’

“This is a special feat that rugby fans in the province have helped us achieve, a wonderful step for the competition and another milestone for South African rugby,” Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone said late Friday about the anticipated sold out stadium.

“On behalf of the entire Bulls family, I wish to thank each and every one of the 51,700 fans who have purchased a ticket.”

There is another local URC derby taking place in Gauteng on Saturday, at 3pm, when the the Lions host the Sharks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. There are still tickets available for that match.