NZR: Bledisloe Cup tests could bring millions into economy if fans can attend

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 16 Sep 2020, 2:50PM
Fans and supporters at Eden Park during a Bledisloe Cup clash. (Photo / Photosport0

NZR: Bledisloe Cup tests could bring millions into economy if fans can attend

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 16 Sep 2020, 2:50PM

The two rescheduled Bledisloe Cup tests in New Zealand will bring tens of millions of dollars to the economy if crowds are able to attend the tests.

The dates for the two Bledisloe Cup matches were yesterday confirmed by New Zealand Rugby, with the All Blacks to play the Wallabies at Wellington's Sky Stadium on Sunday October, 11 and a week later at Eden Park in Auckland (Sunday October, 18).

Whether fans will be able to attend will be dependent on updates to the Government's Covid-19 Alert Levels. Super Rugby Aotearoa games were able to hold crowds under level one.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson told the Mike Hosking Breakfast on Newstalk ZB that going off previous measurements, the two tests would bring in tens of millions to the country.

"[Holding] Six match days, we've already said is in excess of $100m into the country so if you work back from that around two big events days, it's obviously in the tens of millions of dollars.

"It's great but I think more importantly than that, at this time the country just needs a bit of a lift and some top-class sporting action and something to support and get in behind is obviously going to be something positive for peoples mindset and wellbeing as we go forward as well. So we're excited about playing a leadership role in that space too," Robinson said.

"It's nice to have this resolved. It's fantastic for the country and for rugby fans. It can breathe a bit of life hopefully into our smaller businesses and communities around the place," Robinson added.

NZR should expect sellout crowds at both Sky Stadium and Eden Park if fans are able to attend.

Cabinet will review Auckland's Covid-19 Alert Level settings on September 21 with a view to increasing gathering limits in Auckland if it is deemed safe, which would come into effect on September 23.

Cabinet will also look at moving the rest of the country to level 1, which would come into effect at 11.59pm on that day - September 21.

Under the new Government guidelines, the Australian squad will be able to train fully as a squad four days after arriving in the country, dependent on all squad members returning a negative Covid-19 test on day three.

"We acknowledge that this has been a complex and challenging puzzle to solve and we're grateful that both rugby organisations, together with our Government, have come together to get these matches across the line," Robinson said in a statement yesterday.

"We're also pleased that the All Blacks team and management now have certainty and can plan accordingly, and we wish them all the very best for the Bledisloe Cup campaign."

NZR also confirmed the matches will kick off at 3.30pm on both Sundays.

"Our fans both here in New Zealand and around the world have long been looking forward to the resumption of international rugby and we're excited to finally lock the details into the calendar," Robinson said.

Robinson told Hosking that there will be a Sanzaar meeting tomorrow which should confirm the plans for the Rugby Championship tournament which will be held in Australia.

There have been concerns members of the All Blacks squad and management would still be in quarantine during the Christmas period once returning home at the conclusion of the Rugby Championship.

"At this stage we've got a strong sense we'll be able to get the team out soon after the 5th or 6th [December] and have them cleared by Christmas," Robinson said.