James Crombie/INPHO A place in the final in Lyon is on the line this weekend.
difficult sell

Just 36,000 tickets sold for this weekend's Champions Cup semi-finals

Three Premiership clubs and a Top 14 side remain in the competition and interest levels appear low.

THIS WEEKEND’S CHAMPIONS Cup semi-finals are set to be played against a backdrop of empty seats with tournament organisers confirming just 36,000 tickets have been sold for the two games.

In an all Aviva Premiership tie, Saracens hosts Wasps at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon but interest levels appear quite low with just 16,500 tickets pre-sold.

The ground, which is home to Reading Football Club and is also used by London Irish, has a capacity of 24,000.

Meanwhile, the City Ground in Nottingham is likely to be just two-thirds full for Leicester Tigers’ clash with Racing 92 on Sunday with 19,500 tickets sold.

The combined ticket sales pale in comparison to the 76,000 fans who were in attendance at the semi-finals 12 months ago while it’s remarkable to think 126,000 watched the same stage of the competition in 2008/09 – the year Leinster faced Munster at Croke Park.

The restructuring of the competition has seen the balance tip back in favour of the English and the French sides while ticket prices may also be a factor with ‘Category 3′ seats starting at €45.

A European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) spokesperson told The42 that tickets are ‘still selling’.

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