No last-minute ticket scrum as game fails to sell out
THE first international rugby match at the redeveloped Lansdowne Road has failed to sell out -- despite the fact that it features the current world champions.
Tickets for the first competitive international at the €411m Aviva Stadium were still available last night ahead of Ireland's clash with South Africa today.
A spokesman for the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) couldn't say how many of the 51,700 seats remain unsold.
"We're not sure of numbers," he told the Irish Independent last night.
"But we don't expect it to be sold out. Tickets have been sold in packages through clubs and they will still be selling them right up to the match," he said.
The IRFU has come in for strong criticism over the past week both for the pricing of the tickets and the pressure put on clubs to sell them.
Tickets were originally sold in a 'bundle' for Ireland's four games this autumn. But fans objected to an asking price of €340 and the games are now being sold in bundles of two
The IRFU is expecting close to 50,000 fans through the turnstiles when they open at 4pm today
A specially commissioned light and pyrotechnic display with the theme 'Rugby is Coming Home' will take place before kick-off at 5.30pm.
Anticipation for today's match was building yesterday as stadium staff made the final touches for the game.
An extra 250 bar and hospitality workers have been recruited to work alongside the 200 permanent staff for the inaugural match of the 2010 Guinness Series.