Time & Leisure, Wednesday 07 December 2016
Since its beginnings in 2008, the Big Game series at Twickenham Stadium has rapidly risen in popularity and is now a firm fixture in the festive sporting calendar. For the best part of a decade the Twickenham Stoop has had a weekend off every December as Harlequins travel across the A316 to swap their famous home for the headquarters of English rugby.
This December, in their 150th season, the Londoners will take on Gloucester Rugby in the ninth instalment of the Big Game series. Against the Cherry and Whites there is something of a score to settle, given the ten try, 39-39 thriller of a match which played out between the two teams last year.
In the first of the Big Game series 50,000 supporters descended on Twickenham Stadium to watch Harlequins and Leicester Tigers play out a 26-26 draw thanks in no small part to the last-minute try of Ugo Monye and subsequent conversion of Nick Evans. Big Game 4 against Saracens famously set a global rugby union attendance record for a regular season club fixture when Twickenham Stadium was at a full 82,000 capacity. Over the eight matches played so far, attendances have averaged out a 74,000 as rugby goers get their Christmas fix.
Big Game, however, is not just about the rugby - there is something for everyone whether you’re a rugby lover or not. In the week between Christmas and New Year, Big Game has prided itself on being a day out for all the family as the rugby and entertainment world collide with spectacular musical performances, jaw-dropping pyrotechnics and entertainment for all the family.
Over the years, acts including Olly Murs, Rudimental, Sam Bailey and Lawson have all performed at Big Game where television personalities Mark Wright and Vernon Kay have both MC’d the event.
This year, Extreme Sports will provide the Big Game entertainment with BMX and skateboard stunts and tricks set to wow the Twickenham Stadium crowd. Extreme will be performing their stunning, adrenaline-filled routines pre-match in the West Car Park alongside plenty of other games and activities that every member of the family can enjoy. Extreme will also be taking to the hallowed Twickenham Stadium turf in the final run up to the match to get the tens of thousands of supporters excited for what is set to be another classic Big Game.
Big Game 9 is the perfect opportunity to round off Christmas by bringing together your family, friends or colleagues for a full day of entertainment. It won’t just be Extreme performing in the West Car Park, Harlequins and their Principal Partners will also be putting a number of entertainment areas on and you can also take your pick of food and drink from one of the many concessions on offer.
As kick-off approaches, make your way into the stadium for the famous ball delivery, last year the ball was sent over the A316 by cannon and this year Harlequins have gone bigger and better. All that’s left to do is sit back and watch the nail biting match with 80,000 other supporters unfold.
Tickets start from just £21 for adults and £11 for children and can be purchased by calling the Harlequins Ticket Office on 020 8410 6010 or on their website at www.quins.co.uk