THIS weekend marked a key moment in the history of Super League, with rugby league fans turning out in force at Camp Nou to break the Betfred Super League attendance record.
A total of 31,555 fans attended the historic fixture between Challenge Cup winners Catalans Dragons and reigning Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors at the iconic home of Barcelona, Camp Nou, on Saturday 18 May which saw Catalans Dragons put in an impressive display for a 33-16 victory.
The previous record for a regular Super League fixture attendance was 25,004 when Wigan Warriors hosted St Helens at the DW Stadium on 25 March 2005.
Following the match, Robert Elstone, Chief Executive, Super League said:
“The whole of Super League was excited by Camp Nou. It is such big statement of ambition and intent and we should salute the two Chairmen involved – the vision and enterprise shown by Catalans’ Bernard Guasch, and the unhesitatingly support offered by Wigan’s Ian Lenagan.
“I don’t think anything in Super League’s 24-year history will have achieved those objectives more explicitly than a game at the Camp Nou.”
10 years after having played at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium, the Catalans Dragons returned to Barcelona for this fixture, as part of the sport’s continued innovation to engage new audiences.
After claiming the Challenge Cup title with a win over Warrington Wolves at Wembley in August 2018, the Catalans Dragons soon after announced that they will host their fixture against Wigan Warriors at Camp Nou in May 2019 a week before the Dacia Magic Weekend takes place in another iconic stadium, Anfield.
Catalans Dragons President, Bernard Guasch, added:
“I am grateful for the efforts made by our fans who travelled to Barcelona. I am also impressed by the number of Wigan fans in attendance, with over 3,000 fans making the trip from the UK, once again highlighting the strength of Wigan Warriors as a major force in the sport.
“After our Challenge Cup success, taking a match to such an iconic stadium is such a great achievement for our club. It has also helped to grow the profile of the sport and introduce new audiences to rugby league.”
The Nou Camp is the fourth football stadium to host English rugby league matches in 2019, with the Challenge Cup remaining at Wembley, the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford and Dacia Magic Weekend moving to Liverpool FC’s stadium, Anfield.
Tickets for the 2019 Dacia Magic Weekend at Anfield Stadium are available to purchase online at www.rugby-league.com/tickets/magic_weekend