Croke Park sold out for Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final with Northampton Saints

David Skippers
Croke Park aerial view 2023 - Alamy.jpg

Croke Park will be the venue for the Investec Champions Cup semi-final between Leinster and Northampton Saints.

Leinster have confirmed that tickets for their highly anticipated Investec Champions Cup semi-final against Northampton Saints were sold out within a matter of hours.

The Aviva Stadium, which was Leinster’s nominated ‘neutral’ venue for the match, is unavailable due to preparations for football’s Europa League final.

Therefore the Irish province will face their English opponents at the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association on Saturday, May 4.

Tickets sold out in less than 36 hours

Leinster announced on Friday afternoon that the 82,300 tickets for the semi-final were bought in less than 36 hours.

“Every ticket on offer for the much-anticipated clash of Leinster and Northampton at Dublin’s iconic Croke Park on Saturday 4 May has already been sold in the space of just a few hours today (Friday, April 19),” the club said.

It will be the first time that Leinster will be in action at Croke Park since their 25-6 victory over arch rivals Munster in the 2009 Champions Cup semi-final.

The venue served as Ireland’s home ground when the old Lansdowne Road – which is now known as the Aviva Stadium – was being rebuilt from 2007 to 2010.

Former Munster and Ireland front-row Marcus Horan was in action at Croke Park for his country and his province – in that 2009 defeat to Leinster – and said playing at the ground was special.

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“For any Irishman, who grew up with GAA backgrounds, or people who were sports fans, to play at Croke Park is incredible,” he told RTÉ Sport. “It’s a great honour and it’s not lost on any rugby player who was able to do that or anyone that can do it in the future.

“From a Leinster point of view, they’ll be relishing the trip across the city to play over there and it’s probably just what they need.

“They need a change of venue and they need to be out of their comfort zone a little bit, with regards to having to perform.

“It’s an honour to play there and you have to match it with the performance. It’s actually perfect for them and it makes the occasion even better and I’m sure the players will rise to it.”

Leinster booked their spot in the semi-final courtesy of a 40-13 victory over defending champions La Rochelle, who beat them in back-to-back finals in 2022 and 2023.

Other semi-final also sold out

Meanwhile, European Professional Club Rugby confirmed that tickets for the other Champions Cup semi-final, between Toulouse and Harlequins at the 33,000-capacity Le Stadium in Toulouse, have also been sold out.

That clash will be played on Sunday, May 5 and the 2023/24 Champions Cup final is set to take place at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, May 25.

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