Bumper crowds expected at Carnegie Challenge Cup ties
Some of the biggest crowds in recent years are expected at this weekend’s fourth round Carnegie Challenge Cup ties with some games close to sell out.
Topping the bill is the mouth watering clash between engage Super League champions Leeds Rhinos and current cup holders St Helens, a game which looks set to attract a crowd in excess of 15,000 and has sell-out potential following the two side's fiery clash a fortnight ago.
The bumper crowds are a result of a new initiative launched by the RFL for this year’s competition which allows engage Super League season ticket holders free admission to a fourth round tie involving their club.
With five all Super League ties a feature of the fourth round, the initiative means thousands of supporters will be able to see their side for free at the weekend. Hull KR are expecting their biggest fourth round crowd in recent history for their game with Celtic Crusaders.
In the last round season ticket holders at Co-operative Championship clubs benefited from free entry and junior season ticket holders at all levels will receive free entry to see their club up to and including the quarter finals.
Paul Kimberley, the RFL’s Commercial Director, said: “The Carnegie Challenge Cup is Rugby League’s most famous and prestigious competition and it is fantastic that big crowds look set to turn out this weekend for the fourth round.
“During the off-season we worked with clubs to see how we could attract bigger crowds to this year’s ties. In the third round attendances were up 15 per cent on last year and it looks like we’ll see similar results for the fourth round which is extremely encouraging. Season ticket holders should not miss out on this opportunity to see their side for free.”
Abigail Furniss, Leeds Rhinos’ Marketing Manager, said: “With their access entry cards Rhinos season ticket holders can just turn up on the day for free entry whilst Saints season ticket holders have until Thursday 2 April to claim their free ticket.
“This new initiative certainly guarantees a big crowd and non season ticket holders can still buy tickets for a game which promises to be the tie of the round.”
It is not just the all engage Super League ties which are expecting big crowds. Barrow’s home tie against Wigan Warriors is already close to sell out and Keighley Cougars are looking forward to their biggest crowd of the year when they host Castleford Tigers.
Helen Carter, Keighley Cougars General Manager, said: “Not only have we had a big demand from our own fans for the tie with Castleford, but Tigers season ticket holders have been keen to snap up their free ticket. It should make for a great atmosphere at Cougar Park and hopefully we can cause an upset.”
However, the biggest upset of the round could happen at the Chris Moyle stadium with Co-operative Championship side Featherstone Rovers hosting Cumbrian outfit Wath Brow Hornets from the Fraser Eagle National Conference League.
engage Super League season ticket holders should visit their club's website for further details of how to claim their free ticket.
Tickets for this year’s Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 29 August are still available with prices starting from £21.
For more information or to purchase tickets please call 0871 226 13 13 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round ties
Friday 3 April
Swinton Lions RLFC V Rochdale Hornets Kick off 7.30pm
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats V Leigh Centurions Kick off 8.00pm
Halifax RLFC V Widnes Vikings Kick off 8.00pm
Sheffield Eagles V Dewsbury Rams Kick off 8.00pm
Hull KR V Celtic Crusaders Kick off 8.00pm
Saturday 4 April
Warrington Wolves V York City Knights Kick off 2.00pm
Harlequins RL V Huddersfield Giants Kick off 3.00pm
Sunday 5 April
Oldham RLFC V Lezignan XIII Kick off 2.00pm
Batley Bulldogs V Hunslet Hawks Kick off 2.00pm
Featherstone Rovers V Wath Brow Hornets Kick off 2.00pm
Catalans Dragons V Bradford Bulls Kick off 2.30pm Live on BBC ONE
Barrow Raiders V Wigan Warriors Kick off 3.00pm
Doncaster RLFC V Gateshead Thunder RLFC Kick off 3.00pm
Keighley Cougars V Castleford Tigers Kick off 3.00pm
Hull FC V Salford City Reds Kick off 3.15pm
Leeds Rhinos V St Helens Kick off 4.30pm Live on BBC ONE