Filling Loftus on track: crunch Bulls-Stormers clash generating interest

Crunch URC clash between the Bulls and the Stormers generating interest

22 February 2024 - 10:46
By Liam Del Carme
The Bulls are aiming to fill Loftus Versfeld for their URC clash against the Stormers.
Image: Manus van Dyk (Gallo Images) The Bulls are aiming to fill Loftus Versfeld for their URC clash against the Stormers.

The Bulls are pulling out all the stops to fill Loftus Versfeld Stadium for their much-anticipated clash against the Stormers, Saturday week.

Loftus appears on track to meet their aim of filling the stadium to its 50,000 capacity for South African rugby's most bitterly contested derby. The Bulls want to make the clash the biggest URC match outside the semifinals and final.

More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold and they look set to surpass the stadium's record URC attendance of just more than 41,000.

“There has been huge interest in the clash,” said Bulls Company marketing manager Shanil Mangaroo. “That is not bad going with more than a week to go. We are on track to fill it up. I'm confident we can do it.

He explained the ticket-buying culture in the capital.

“Pretoria wakes up quite late in buying tickets. Normally in match week it goes slow Monday, Tuesday, picks up Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when the team announcement goes up, it explodes.”

The Bulls may yet lay their hands on the URC trophy, but they've enlisted the help of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis to bring his bling.

“We've invited him to pull in and enjoy the game with us. It is quite funny because he is a huge Stormers fan. He's helping us create a bit of banter as well which is quite nice,” said Mangaroo.

Du Plessis, who has been in seventh heaven since claiming the title, will have a lofty position at Loftus.

“We are going to perch him on a deck we are putting up behind the poles on the northern side of the ground. Dricus and his girlfriend will be sitting up there and two fans will have the opportunity to sit with them. That has created so much traction because he is hot property,” said Mangaroo.

Du Plessis is set for action before kickoff and after the final whistle.

Two live acts will perform before the game with one after the final whistle, followed by two DJs.

“For a normal rugby game that is a fairly big line-up. We have invested a lot in the pre- and after party in the past year,” added Mangaroo. “We want that nice vibe back at Loftus.”