25,000 tickets go for Millennium Stadium World Cup show

Over 25,000 tickets have been snapped up to watch Wales' World Cup semi-final in New Zealand on big screens in the Millennium Stadium.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) will now increase the capacity by an extra 20,000 to satisfy the growing demand.

They are available free of charge from the stadium.

The match against France, which kicks off in Auckland at 09:00 BST on Saturday, is being billed as one of the biggest in Welsh rugby history.

It is only the second time Wales have reached a World Cup semi-final, with many pundits believing the young team is good enough to go on to the final.

Stadium bosses said that following the 22-10 quarter-final win over Ireland on Saturday, they wanted to do something for the fans.

Image caption Fans that cannot go to New Zealand are invited to the Millennium Stadium instead

The extra tickets are available at Gate Three of the stadium until 19:00 BST on Tuesday and between 09:00 BST and 19:00 BST on Wednesday.

Fans are limited to six per person and organisers say they must wear red on the day of the match.

Some supporters queued up from early on Tuesday morning to make sure of a place.

The WRU e-ticket offer has now sold out.

Stadium manager Gerry Toms said screening the game at the stadium had "captured people's imaginations".

Bigger screen

"The support from the Welsh public has been stunning and due to such huge demand for tickets I'm thrilled that there is now a further 20,000 tickets available for seating in the middle and upper tiers in our East stand," he added.

"I hope that everyone in Wales pulls on their red jersey for what will be a spectacular day of rugby on Saturday and look forward to welcoming the fans to the home of Welsh sport."

He said the stadium may be able to cater for as many as 50,000 fans for the event but he was concerned everyone attending had a good view.

The match will be shown on the stadium's two big screens and another even bigger screen will be placed at pitch level.

The stadium will open at 07:30 BST on Saturday and alcohol will be served from 09:00 BST.

Many fans are also flying out to New Zealand to watch the game in person, with flight, ticket and accommodation packages starting at around £2,500.

Travel operators said most supporters were departing on Tuesday or Wednesday because of the time difference and travelling time required.

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