Cowboys vs Parramatta Eels NRL tickets for Townsville Preliminary Final in high demand

It’s North Queensland’s hottest ticket of the year, and places for the Cowboys’ NRL Qualifying Grand Final against the Eels are set to sell out quickly.

About 25,000 people will fill Townsville Stadium on Friday night for the city’s first preliminary home final.

Tickets go on sale for Cowboys members at 10 a.m. today, before a public release on Tuesday.

Accommodation across the city is already full, with some fans preparing to travel thousands of miles to watch the game.

Long-time Cowboys fan Chloe Ebert is eager to make the five-and-a-half-hour journey from her home in Port Douglas to watch the game in person.

“Whether or not we can get tickets will be another story,” she said.

“I think it will be tough…it’s like winning Willy Wonka’s golden ticket.”

A large crowd watches the Cowboys practice ahead of their showdown against the Eels.(ABC North Qld: Lily Nothling)

Friday’s game will mark the Cowboys’ biggest progression in NRL competition since 2017, when they lost the Grand Final to the Melbourne Storm.

The club have warned fans to beware of unofficial ticket sellers who may seek to take advantage of the sold-out match.

“I would be surprised if [tickets] lasted much more than a few hours,” Cowboys general manager of football Michael Luck said.

Ms Ebert said if she managed to secure a place it would be the biggest match she had ever seen.

“There was a lot of talk that we were going to be the [wooden] spoons at the start of the year, and I fought black and blue, I was like ‘no, we’re not,’” she said.

A woman wearing a Cowboys jersey stands on a balcony.
Chloe Ebert hopes to get a ticket for the big qualifying final.(Provided)

“If we win the next one, we go to the grand final and that proves everyone wrong.”

Townsville hostel owner Cathy Kenneally said accommodation providers across the city were inundated with people hoping to get tickets to the final.

“We are fully booked that night, and every day we take phone calls from people looking for accommodation on the night of the 23rd,” Ms Keneally said.

“It’s totally wonderful – football matches are well attended and it brings a really uplifting feeling to the city.”

Cowboys players train on the pitch at Townsville Stadium
Anticipation is growing in North Queensland as the Cowboys prepare to take on the Eels.(ABC North Qld: Lily Nothling)

Townsville sports store manager Greg Fazel said Cowboys merchandise was flying off the shelves before the game.

“People around here are fanatics,” he said.

“Go back to 2015 and 2017 – anything with Cowboys in it that we could sell.”

Mr Fazel said he had just received a delivery of hundreds of new Cowboys jerseys and shirts.

“We’re going to sell all of that,” he said.

“The better the Cowboys have done this year, the more the stock has sold very, very well – to be honest, it’s sold so well it’s hard to get.”

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