Amazingly, over 55,000 tickets have already been pre-sold and the NRL privately expects a 70,000 figure – with walk up starters.
El Masri will be putting his goal kicking magic on display, young Hayne will be dancing around the field in his electric manner and there is no doubt the likes of Greg Eastwood and Fui Fui Moi Moi will be colliding like cars in a crash test room.
The Channel 9 Network believes their TV ratings too will be record breaking – built by Parramatta’s run in winning nine of their past 10 matches, which has turned them into many fans’ ”second side”. ”Our year-on-year figures are up incredibly on last year and each match keeps going higher,” Nine’s head of sport, Steve Crawley, said. ”I think the appetite for two Sydney sides in a game like this has been a long time coming – particularly two sides from the game’s heartland in the western suburbs.”
Some have gone as far to suggest, this would have been the ‘ideal’ Grand Final – between two old foes. Drawing massive interest from all NRL corners.
Former Eels hard head Terry Leabeater believed this scenario was ideally like a grand final. ”The old rivalry’s been left alone for a lot of years, and all of a sudden it’s back out,” he said. ”It’s claws have been exposed. I’m more nervous now than when I played.”
ANZ Stadium MD Daryl Kerry confirmed the massive interest in this game and said it was the one Sydney wanted to see.
“In 10 years of hosting major events, ANZ Stadium has never before seen 55,000 tickets sold in two days for a footy match,” he said.
The NRL and Channel 9 are also happy that the Saturday Night Week 3 NRL Final is between 2 state sides. Brisbane and Melbourne facing off ensure plenty of interest in that game also.
”There’s an opportunity to look at the game’s strengths down the whole eastern seaboard,” confirmed NRL Boss David Gallop.
The winner of the Bulldogs, Eels clash will have the backing of Sydney – as they keep the hopes of the city and state alive in the NRL Grand Final against either Melbourne or Brisbane.