Fans have being welcomed back to Ashton Gate for the first time in more than a year.
After fourteen months away due to the Covid pandemic, 3,138 lucky Bristol Bears fans are being allowed back in the stadium.
The Landsdown Stand lower, Dolman Stand and Atyeo Stand are all open for tonight’s West Country derby as the Bears take on Gloucester in the Gallagher Premiership at 7.45pm.
Fans have eagerly awaited their return to the Gate since March 2020 and have spoken to ITV West Country about their excitement.
One fan said: "I'm so excited. It felt a bit like Christmas morning to get back down to the Gate and I just can't wait."
Another fan said: "It's been really hard to miss this season but we're excited to be here, it's been a really long wait but we're excited."
The match is one of two Premiership fixtures to be pushed back from the weekend to allow fans to attend the game following the easing of restrictions coming into effect on Monday 17 May.
Social distancing restrictions will be in place and fans must arrive at designated times as given on tickets; the earliest arrival time is at 6.15pm.
Pat Lam, the director of rugby at Bristol, is delighted to see fans returning and hopes their presence will help galvanise his side in the derby.
He said: "It’s massive and something we are all excited by.
"We are ready for a lot more than the 3,000 but this is the beginning stage to eventually a situation where we will have a few more and a few more.
"My understanding is that they will be spread around the ground, with social distancing, so there will be noise coming from everywhere. It’s fantastic.
"It’s another incentive to have that home semi-final. We really want that for our fans as well and, if we can get that, then hopefully the crowd number will be higher."
The Bears have won each of their last four matches against Gloucester, including an 18-17 comeback at Kingsholm in February.