A combined audience of around 100,000 is expected to witness two major finals in one of the biggest days of sport in Glasgow’s recent history, at least partly demonstrating the impact of professionalism on modern rugby’s spectator appeal.

While a capacity crowd of around 50,000 will be at Hampden to witness Celtic’s bid to complete a treble treble, almost as many tickets - more than 43,000 by yesterday – had been sold for the Pro14 final at their home in Parkhead, with scope for that to increase since tickets will be available on the day.

As encouraging as that might seem for other sports in this football-dominated country, it also speaks to a trend which is seeing ever more effort being placed into turning sports-lovers into spectators rather than participants.

What might be dubbed ‘Project popcorn’ seems to aspire to the American sporting model which effectively sees sporting events turned into vast marketing opportunities for those selling food and merchandise, more and more of which is controlled by the organisations staging the events.

A combination of heavy funding of athletes and, more importantly, a drive to ensure that a steady supply of high class events, was sold as an opportunity to promote healthy living in a part of the world that is blighted by childhood obesity and heart problems among adults.

Instead, whether deliberately or otherwise, a process has taken place that has the potential to exacerbate those problems since the otherwise welcome emphasis on seeking to introduce youngsters to sport seems to be stimulating more of an interest in watching rather than playing.

Rugby’s response over the past quarter of a century to opening the sport up to professional seems to illustrate that most clearly with the vast majority of clubs now fielding far fewer teams every weekend than was the case in the eighties and nineties when Scotland were winning Grand Slams and regularly contending for titles.

While considerable effort has been put into encouraging more school-children to take an interest in rugby during that period, what increasingly seems to be happening is that there is a huge drop off in involvement in the mid to late teens as those who realise that they do not have the talent or commitment levels to make it as professional players, leaving the playing of the game to the relative few who do.

Whether deliberately or accidentally, as we would all prefer to think would be the case, those promoting sport in our schools and youth clubs are effectively doing more to generate a future target audience for the marketing men than a lifelong involvement in healthy activity.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen’s excitement on entering Celtic Park yesterday was, then, wholly understandable, but spoke to the commercial emphasis that has been an inevitable consequence of the professionalism of his sport.

“I’ve just heard they’ve over 50,000 season ticket holders here at Celtic which is an incredible number,” he observed, having also paid tribute to the vast support that has followed his team this season, including in their tens of thousands to Newcastle for the Champions Cup final a fortnight ago.

“I think every rugby club out there is dreaming of that day when you can call on 50,000 season ticket holders to support you week in, week out.

Just as was the case among the many old rugby players who advocated allowing the sport to go open back in the eighties and nineties, but now believe they had the best of it when juggling careers with sporting commitments back in those days, he might want to think about what he is wishing for.

For many of those regularly watching Leinster that may well be their only sporting activity of the week, which is a far cry from the days when rugby clubs were packed out after matches with international and sixth XV players alike.