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60K-plus in Millennium Stadium for Wales semifinal

Updated: October 14, 2011, 06:30

CARDIFF, Wales(AP) There will be more people in Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to watch the Wales vs. France World Cup semifinal on video screens at dawn than there will be at the actual match in New Zealand on Saturday.

The Welsh Rugby Union said about 65,000 free tickets were picked up by the time the box office closed.

Eden Park, the semifinal venue in Auckland, holds only 60,000.

Wales needs to beat France to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

Roger Lewis, the WRU group chief executive, described the response of fans to the "Wake Up to Wales'' event as magnificent.

"We always believed we had the best fans in the world and gestures like this prove it,'' Lewis said. "The response from supporters since we said we would open up the stadium on Saturday has been magnificent.

"Their voices will be raised at the home of Welsh rugby and the sound will echo around the world to New Zealand.''

The stadium, built in time for the 1999 World Cup hosted by Wales, will open at 7:30 a.m. local time, with live music acts to keep the crowd buzzing before the game starts at 9 a.m.

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