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Million euro hit for Irish rugby

(Pictured above, Marseille’s Stade Velodrome)

IRISH rugby was the main loser in Stade Felix Mayol last Saturday. Leinster’s defeat, resulting in Munster having to travel to France for their semi-final meeting with Toulon, and Ulster’s home defeat by Saracens, were also very costly for the IRFU.
Had Ulster and Leinster won, semi-finals on Saturday and Sunday on the last week-end of April would have provided a welcome windfall.
The Dublin stadium is not the only loser. The Marseille venue for the April 27 cruncher has a capacity of only 40,000 as the stadium is undergoing the completion of improvements that will bring the all-seater up to 61,000. The Aviva would have been guaranteed a full-house of 51,700 had it staged a mouth-watering Leinster v Munster derby and brought in revenue of around €3 million. Not a bad day’s work for an interpro.
Such is the drawing power of both provinces at present, one could safely predict a spin-off spend in the region of a million + in the capital for that all-Ireland Heineken Cup showdown.
An Ulster v Clermont Auvergne semi-final in the Aviva may not reach such dizzy attendance heights but it would have come close. So far there have been no announcements of travel arrangements for Munster fans hoping to get to Marseille on April 27. Munster Supporters are expected to inform their members of their plans within the coming days. We will keep you posted.

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