More than 35,000 tickets sold for unprecedented NRL opening day in Las Vegas

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Australasia’s National Rugby League (NRL) chief executive Andrew Abdo claims that more than 35,000 tickets have been sold for the competition’s 2024 season opener on Saturday (March 2) at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

A double-header is scheduled with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles due to face the South Sydney Rabbitohs before the Sydney Roosters play the Brisbane Broncos.

“We have sold over 35,000 tickets so far,” Abdo told radio station 2GB Sports.

“I went to a Las Vegas Raiders game there last year and they had 40,000 [fans] and with an indoor stadium like that it is going to be a sensational atmosphere.

“For the live attendance, hopefully we creep up to over 40,000. That would be huge for us in year one.”

In addition to the two fixtures, NRL will also host a talent combine to go in search of four American athletes who could have the potential to star in Australia.

There will also be hosting of the Las Vegas 9s tournament, a format of the sport that features four fewer players on each side.

Located adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, Allegiant Stadium is fully enclosed and climate-controlled with a capacity of 65,000.

It is home to the Las Vegas Raiders National Football League (NFL) team and is also due to stage sporting events such as the Pac-12 Championship Game and Las Vegas bowl.

While Abdo is hoping for as big an audience as possible in Las Vegas, the main aim is to attract fans for the future.

“It’s about more than the live crowd,” Abdo said.

“This is a long-term strategy to win fans in America and so it’s less about who is there for the double-header and more about who is interested in following our players and our clubs throughout the season.

“The fact that the games are on Fox Sports One in America which has a huge audience, and the fact that we’ll be promoting subscriptions to an app called watch NRL that fans in America can follow throughout the whole season.

“We’re after fans that actually commit to rugby league for the entire season.”

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