Why Wales were right to test the waters at the Principality Stadium

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Wales didn’t get the result they wanted against Spain, but what they did get is a boosted crowd.

50,232 fans went to the game, making it the highest attended Wales home fixture since 2011, when they held a European Championship qualifier against the old enemy, England.

A powerful rendition of He Wlad Fy Nhadau was sung by the passionate Wales supporters.

It was a mixture of fans who have witnessed Wales in the doldrum days, whilst families were also attending, some having their first chance to support Wales in person.

Some of the players are eager to return to the stadium too. The 74,500 seated stadia, earnt praise from Ashley Williams before the fixture.

“You want to play in the best stadiums in the world and this is one of them. “

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Speaking to BBC Wales Sport, goalscorer Sam Vokes said “It is a great ground, it is where we want to be,” 

“If you get the ground full there is nothing like it

“A full Principality is a great event for us.”

Vokes points are valid. Back when Wales nearly qualified for the European Championships in 2004, there were big crowds, for this tiny nation.

The important thing is to ensure there’s a balance, for all kinds of supporters. A designated stand where supporters can stand, with the Barry Horns in attendance, could make for a good atmosphere.

With the game already lost, as Wales trailed by three goals, some of the fans got out their phones, using their flashlight, to create a display.

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Some fans were angered by the light show on the hour mark, something that is usually accustomed to concerts at the Principality Stadium, not football.

But the Together Stronger slogan which has kept Wales fans together needs to remain, Wales must stay together, for the success of the national team.

The money generated by the bigger attendances can be put back into grassroots football and other projects.

For now, the Cardiff City Stadium is home to Wales for competitive fixtures, but should opportunities like Spain come round again, the Principality Stadium should always be in consideration.

(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)

One thought on “Why Wales were right to test the waters at the Principality Stadium”

  1. David Luther Thomas says:

    Rational and balanced views.
    I attended nearly all of the games we’ve played there. There have been some great atmospheres and some dire ones. (The same can be said for CCS; remember Bulgaria and Australia- very different to Belgium and RoI).
    To warrant even considering a more permanent move to the Millenium Stadium certain conditions would need to be met:
    Would need a successful team, qualifying for finals.
    Would need to be repeatedly selling out CCS (and probably need 25-30k tournament ticket holders).
    Would need a system that effectively transferred the Canton Stand to the North Stand (re-creating the old “singing section). There would also need to be an understanding that this is what the North Stand will be like and that people there will expect to stand.
    Previously at the Millenium Stadium the FAW did (for a while, at least) an excellent marketing job. Filling the lower tier with sensibly priced children/family tickets was great. I took advantage of the offer; my son is now a tournament ticket holder in his own right. Many others too, I expect. That lower tier created a raucous noise but helped create an “atmosphere”. (I have seen/heard a lot of comments bemoaning the atmosphere, including people moaning that they couldn”t hear the “Red Wall”. They seem to miss the point that every Welsh supporter is part of it and creating an atmosphere involves everyone. OK, it helps if there is a section that starts/leads any singing.
    The FAW have made great progress over recent years on limited resources. They need to maximise income to continue this work.
    My big fear is that the FAW would move an important, competitive match there to cash in andrisking the bigger prize of qualification (as has happened in the past).

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