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North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams says he has been assured by North Harbour Stadium management that the ticketing problems experienced by rugby fans at last Friday’s Blues versus Hurricanes Super 14 match were a ‘one-off’.
“I am told that the problems were largely due to the unexpectedly high number of ‘walk-up’ rugby fans who did not have pre-purchased tickets which put pressure on the ticketing system, an issue compounded by the ticketing system itself ‘going down’ for a short crucial time before the match,” Mayor Williams said.
“The stadium management and the Blues franchise are in discussions to see what can be learned from this, but some fans were inconvenienced last Friday night and that’s not good enough.”
“I have been assured that the ticketing problem will not affect future Super 14 games at the stadium, or more importantly the Rugby World Cup fixtures scheduled on the Shore, where most if not all tickets would be pre-purchased.”
“We had a fantastic capacity crowd last Friday night, and without wanting to downplay the frustration suffered by some of the fans, it was better to put the ticketing system under pressure and sort out any glitches now, so we are ready to hit the ground running for the world cup next year,” Mayor Williams said.
“It’s also a good reminder that fans are best to get their tickets in advance and not wait till getting to any stadium or event, or risk such disappointment. The 22,000 who did plan ahead were seated at kick-off time and enjoyed at great night’s rugby at North Harbour Stadium.”
The Mayor sought the assurance of stadium management ahead of a meeting next week with Rugby World Cup Minister, Hon Murray McCully, who he understands was also unsettled by reports of problems with rugby fans gaining entry to the stadium last Friday night.
“The Rugby World Cup will be a fantastic event that will showcase New Zealand to the rest of the world and we are gearing up to make the most of our hosting of France, South Africa and other teams here on the Shore,” Mayor Andrew Williams said.