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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 25 August, 2019

This season's Top 14 final in Barcelona is set for a 98,000 sell-out

The 2016 French league decider will be played at FC Barcelona’s home stadium.

LIGUE NATIONALE DE Rugby, the organising body behind the Top 14, says the final of this season’s French league will be played in front of a 98,000 sell-out crowd at the Nou Camp in Barcelona.

Barcelona v Arsenal - UEFA Champions League - Round of Sixteen - Second Leg - Camp Nou The Nou Camp. Source: EMPICS Sport

The Top 14 final was moved to the home of FC Barcelona this season due to the clash with Euro 2016.

A statement from the LNR today says every available ticket for the French rugby showpiece has been sold.

There remain allocations for each of the clubs that makes the final, meaning the Nou Camp is not genuinely sold out at this stage, but the organisers say they expect those tickets to be quickly snapped up after the finalists are confirmed.

The current attendance record for a club game is 84,068 – the crowd that watched the meeting between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley in the Aviva Premiership last year.

The Top 14 final at Stade de France has drawn crowds in excess of 80,000 in recent seasons.

The French league has continued to grow in popularity in recent years, both in terms of attendances and TV revenue. The current deal between the LNR and broadcaster Canal+ is worth €70 million per season to the Top 14 clubs, rising to €72 million by the 2018/19 campaign.

The LNR has brought the Top 14 semi-finals to Nantes, Lille and Bordeaux in the past three seasons in their efforts to spark further rugby growth around the country, while this season’s semis will be played in the northwestern city of Rennes.

With Euro 2016 taking place in France in June, the LNR looked outside its own borders to find a venue of sufficient capacity and agreed to bring the Top 14 final to Barcelona.

The Nou Camp will host a rugby match for the first time on Friday 24 June at 8.45pm local time and a record-breaking crowd is set to be there to witness it.

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Murray Kinsella

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