The Crusaders have already claimed the maiden Super Rugby Aotearoa title but that hasn't stopped Aucklanders from turning up and selling out Eden Park for the final Super Rugby Aotearoa game of the season.
The Blues confirmed on Monday that they will close Super Rugby Aotearoa as they opened it, with a sell-out event-capacity 43,236 sold for the clash against the champion Crusaders on Sunday.
Blues CEO Andrew Hore said the franchise was thrilled with the response from the fans, to reach sell-out six days out from the match.
“It has been a quite remarkable competition in the history of our game, and in the context of the equally remarkable challenge that this country and the world is facing,” said Hore.
“We enjoyed that amazing opening game in Super Rugby Aotearoa and we felt it fitting that it should end on a special note, hosting the champion Crusaders to Eden Park in front of what will be a mammoth attendance.
“Our game, our community, this great city and our country deserves a special celebration, and I am sure that it is far from a dead rubber for us at all. It will be a definable moment.”
It will mean that the four home games for the Blues is almost 150,000, an average of 37,000, which is around double the average attendance in 2019.
The key is for everyone to understand that this is a huge crowd, and they should leave plenty of time to get to and from the stadium. Please check the AT site for your travel information and remember to be patient.”
The gates will open from 1.30pm with a range of entertainment ahead of the 3.35pm kick-off including the activity zone open on the concourse, bands, pre-game show on the big screen, and crowd activations.
To recognise the significance of this occasion, there will be some other special activities before kick-off, including a curtain-raiser featuring Little Blues players from junior rugby clubs in the Blues region.
There is also an opportunity for fans on the field after the game, to get autographs and selfies with the players.