It has only been a few days since New Zealand dropped restrictions on crowd numbers at mass gatherings but already tickets have flown out the door with a combined crowd of over 60,000 expected at both Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night and Eden Park on Sunday afternoon.
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said it was testament to New Zealand’s team of five million that restrictions on mass gatherings were relaxed and that Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa would be the first professional competition in the world to welcome back fans en masse.
“We’re incredibly proud, and grateful, to be the first professional sports competition in the world to be in a position to have our teams play in front of their fans again. It’s going to be a very special and unique competition and it’s fitting that New Zealanders now have a chance to be part of it.”
The competition will kick off in Dunedin on Saturday night when the Highlanders face the Chiefs. A crowd of over 20,000 is expected with playmaker Josh Ioane joining in the excitement.
“Unreal! That’s music to my ears that we’ll have crowds, especially that Zoo, you can’t go past that Zoo.”
At Eden Park on Sunday afternoon, world class pivot Beauden Barrett will make his much-anticipated debut for the Blues against his old side the Hurricanes. The sight of Barrett in a Blues jersey is sure to ruffle a few feathers among Hurricanes fans with respected broadcaster John Campbell already saying he will yell at Barrett that “he has the wrong jersey on”.
Barrett said he is looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd after not taking the field since the All Blacks bronze medal Rugby World Cup playoff against Wales in November.
“If we get that number on Sunday [35,000+] that’s fantastic and it’s even better that we are playing afternoon rugby. I think the product should be better for it as well so lets hope the lungs hang in there and the game is a competitive one,” Barrett said.
There are still tickets available to both games. Click the links below to purchase.