The mouth-watering back-to-back games will not only bring the NRL and Super Rugby competitions together on the same day and stage, but it will also pit Auckland’s two oval ball clubs against their Australian capital counterparts.
The “Codes of Auckland” event will kick off with the Vodafone Warriors facing beaten NRL grand finalists the Canberra Raiders at 5pm followed by the Blues taking on Super Rugby semi-finalists the Brumbies at 7.35pm.
Months of discussions between the Vodafone Warriors, the Blues, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the NRL and NZ Rugby have resulted in the two codes combining in a manner previously thought impossible.
“We have much in common as professional teams in international competition and we know that we have fans that follow both clubs,” Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George and Blues chairman Don Mackinnon said in a joint statement.
“Both clubs have worked together in recent years when the opportunity has arisen, and we have been trying to make this idea work for a couple of years.
“This year we trialled a single ticket promotion to both of our games on the same weekend and fans from both codes absolutely loved it.
“With both clubs playing Canberra teams on the same weekend, it was the perfect chance to give it a go. It’s exciting and innovative and gives the Vodafone Warriors and the Blues the unique opportunity to celebrate some of the best sporting entertainment that Auckland has to offer.”
The Codes of Auckland announcement is another example of Auckland leading the way with innovative sporting events for both locals and visitors to enjoy, and was welcomed by Auckland city authorities as well chiefs from both codes and Eden Park management.
ATEED General Manager – Destination, Steve Armitage, says the event will offer the whole region something different.
“This day is one example of how Auckland seeks to offer its residents and domestic and international visitors a unique experience.
“Last year, ATEED supported the rugby league double header at Mt Smart Stadium as part of our focus on stimulating increased visitation out of Australia, and we hope that this event will prompt a strong contingent of Brumbies and Raiders supporters to hop across the ditch.”
Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner said the innovative event would give sports fans a special incentive to be at the stadium on March 21 next year.
“New Zealand’s national stadium was built for crowds of all sizes and demographics so an opportunity to host fans of both the Blues and the Vodafone Warriors in our 116-year old home is inspiring. We look forward to showcasing the stadium’s diversity and providing Kiwis with another great reason to visit Eden Park,” he said.
Tickets for the Codes of Auckland will start at $30 for adults and are set to go on sale to the general public at Ticketmaster.co.nz from 4pm today. Members of both clubs will be able to access a special pre-sale from midday.