JUST A handful of tickets for Thomond Park’s North Terrace remain on sale for Saturday’s crunch Heineken Cup clash between Munster and Saracens.
The remaining tickets are expected to sell out before Saturday according to Munster Rugby, who also said that the Aviva Premiership team took up just 800 tickets from their potential allocation - some 4,000-plus tickets - for the game.
This should mean a large and lusty home crowd will be in full voice for the must-win clash, the first of back-to-back games against the high-flying Saracens, with an away trip to Vicarage Road looming eight days later, but will fail to impress hoteliers and pub owners in the city who would have hoped for a larger travelling support to come from the UK for the plum tie.
However, with a 6pm kick-off on the traditionally busy shopping day of December 8, the local economy can still expect a major boost from the match.
Fans attending the high-profile match are also being urged to support Limerick based international aid agency Bóthar, who will be selling 20,000 Santa hats outside Thomond Park ahead of the game.
The initiative, launched by the recently retired Munster, Ireland and Lions star David Wallace with students at his alma mater of Crescent Comprehensive College, will be a key fundraiser for the aid agency, who pioneered the use of livestock to help those less fortunate in the developing world.
Bóthar CEO Dave Moloney said: “This fundraiser is a great opportunity as we get to raise money for some of the world’s most disadvantaged people and in return we help turn Thomond into an even greater sea of red, adding to the atmosphere on what hope will be another great night for Munster Rugby and Limerick city”.
Newstalk presenter George Hook is to broadcast from Smyth’s pub, Denmark Street, on the day of the match between 12-1pm and will be giving away tickets to the match.
James Lennon of Smyth’s said he would “be putting George to the test after he comes off air, he’ll be taking live questions while serving pints to our customers”.
“So if it’s a question or a pint, make sure to be there to ask George. We’ll be showing all the day’s rugby and of course the big match as well,” he added.