NRL CEO Dave Smith has paid tribute to the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs clubs for working together to stage an event that captured the imagination of fans, with a record-breaking crowd of 51,686 fans watching today’s Good Friday Telstra Premiership match at ANZ Stadium.
Today’s attendance was:
• The biggest for a stand-alone regular season match in NRL history, surpassing the 50,859 that watched Darren Lockyer’s farewell match at Suncorp Stadium in Round 26 in 2011;
• The biggest Sydney Rugby League crowd since the St George v Souths match at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1967 (50,153);
• The biggest NRL crowd for a stand-alone match in Sydney, surpassing the 45,863 fans who watched the Eels-Dragons farewell match for Nathan Hindmarsh, Luke Burt, Ben Hornby and Dean Young at ANZ Stadium in Round 26, 2012;
• The biggest home crowd for the Bulldogs, smashing the previous mark of 41,835 set in Round 26, 2009, for Hazem El Masri’s farewell match.
“It was a fantastic game of football today and I want to thank the fans of both teams for creating a wonderful atmosphere,” Mr Smith said.
“It’s the biggest crowd for an NRL stand-alone regular season game and a sign of the excitement in this year’s competition.”
Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg added: “The Good Friday match is now one of the marquee events on the Sydney sporting calendar and today’s attendance shows that.
“It’s great to see so many passionate sporting fans coming out to support their team and we hope this continues throughout the remainder of the season and in future years.”