Ticket sales for the Christchurch match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Warriors have skyrocketed after the recent string of Warriors victories and match organisers are now considering to expand the capacity of AMI Stadium to deal with the increased demand.
Match organisers have been in discussion with Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach about the option to erect the larger northern stand, which has been used in for international matches to increase the capacity from 17,600 to 22, 500.
“Ticket sales have gone through the roof in recent weeks,” says match organiser Justin Wallace. “With each Warriors victory the amount of tickets we sell weekly has dramatically increased. At this rate, I think we will be sold out well ahead of kick-off time.”
The Manly match against the Warriors on June 9 in Christchurch is sandwiched between high-profile Crusaders home matches against the Hurricanes and Highlanders.
“The Crusaders are also expecting big crowds for those Super Rugby matches, so we are talking to them and investigating the costs of putting up the bigger stand to give more fans the opportunity to see an NRL match in Christchurch,” says Wallace who encourages fans to get their tickets soon.
“There are no guarantees that we will be able to build the larger stand, so fans cannot afford to sit back and wait,” Wallace says, adding that the most decisive fans will be rewarded with the staggered pricing model.
“The fans should not risk missing out on cheaper seats or miss out altogether.”
Before and after the match, Christchurch rugby league fans will get unprecedented opportunities to mingle with some of the biggest names in the NRL.
The Christchurch Casino will turn their Monza sports bar into the Eagles Nest, the official Christchurch clubrooms for the Manly Sea Eagles during the week before the match and fans will be able to purchase special tickets for match day that include a transfer to the stadium plus discounted food and beverages.
After the match, the players will return to the Sixty6 bar at the Christchurch Casino and fans will be able to get access to this function and meet the stars through a special ticket offer.
This kind of access to players does not even exist for NRL fans in Australia and is a unique opportunity for Christchurch fans to talk to some of rugby league’s biggest stars, including Kiwi player Martin Taupau and local Christchurch product Lewis Brown, if the latter can regain his spot in the first team.
The Sixty6 venue will also host the Gala Dinner with the Sea Eagles and the Warriors on the Thursday night before the match, which will feature former Manly and Kiwis coach Graham Lowe as the guest speaker.
Former Kiwis coach Frank Endacott and the Mad Butcher, Sir Peter Leitch will be among the many famous rugby league faces at the dinner along with a host of Manly and Warriors players.
The tickets for the after-match function are limited and the gala dinner is filling up rapidly as well.
Tickets for the game can be purchased on www.ticketek.co.nz/manly/warriors
Manly Sea Eagles v New Zealand Warriors, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday June 9, 5pm kick-off.