The Blues Footy Fest is set for Eden Park on Saturday 20 February, and highlighted by the re-rematch against the Crusaders, after the final game of the Super Rugby Aotearoa was called off when the city moved into lockdown 2.0.
The Blues Footy Fest will be a day crammed with activities to keep the kids entertained, the adults amused and the Crusaders on their toes.
The rugby highlight will see the Blues taking on the Crusaders as a festival opener. There are more than 20 All Blacks among both squads with many looking to play their only pre-season game before the start of the Sky Sport Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.
Fans will have the opportunity post-game to get autographs with the players.
There will be loads of entertainment off the field with live music, a kids’ zone, garden bar, food market and many more activities located at the festival marketplace which will be open until 7.30pm.
“We were all so much looking forward to the rematch at the end of the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition last year, and we received so many calls and comments wanting the game to take place,” said Blues CEO Andrew Hore.
“The Blues Footy Fest is the perfect opportunity, and the Crusaders were only too keen to venture to Auckland for what we believe will be a fantastic occasion.
“We want to thank the Crusaders for breaking traditional preseason fixtures to help our community.”
Already 18,000 fans who had purchased tickets to the rematch game in August have transferred their tickets to this game.
“The players, staff and the Board at the Blues are very appreciative that so many of our community have supported us with this match. In turn we will do all we can to make this a fun and memorable occasion.
“It is not just about rugby and our sport celebrating the much-awaited return of the Sky Sport Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.
“We will also be supporting some charities in our region who have been heavily effected by COVID. Three wonderful charities have been selected for their work in supporting our youth to make better choices for a better future.”
A portion of ticket sales from the Blues Footy Fest will be donated to children’s charities - I Have a Dream Charitable Trust and KidsCan.
The Blues have also partnered with the Graeme Dingle Foundation. Supporters who buy a ticket to the Blues Footy Fest will have the opportunity to gift a $9 ticket which the Graeme Dingle Foundation will provide to a deserving young Aucklander who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend.
“Overall, this is a fantastic occasion. It’s an important game for our boys in blue and for our Blues fans to have some family fun as well. And we will be supporting some outstanding charities at the same time.”
Tickets are available for as little as $20 for adults, with children free with a paying General Admission ticket. Tickets for the Blues Footy Fest are on sale now.
The Blues have some other pre-season activities. They will venture to Waiheke Island for an open training and kids day at the Waiheke Island Rugby Club on Saturday 30 January from 10.30am.
The team will stage a three-day camp in Northland with an open training session in Kerikeri on Thursday 11 February along with several community events, before heading to Wellington for the Game of 3 Halves against the Hurricanes and Chiefs on Saturday 13 February.
The pre-season is culminated with the inaugural Blues Footy Fest ahead of the Sky Sport Super Rugby Aotearoa competition kicks off on Saturday 28 February against the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Ticket information: www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Blues information: www.blues.rugby