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Crowds set to return to Stadium Waikato for third Super Rugby Aotearoa clash

Crowds set to return to Stadium Waikato for third Super Rugby Aotearoa clash
June 19, 2020

Expectation in the North Island city of Hamilton is rising ahead of tomorrow’s Super Rugby Aotearoa match between the Gallagher Chiefs and the Blues at FMG Stadium Waikato.

The Saturday evening fixture will be a significant one for the venue with crowds set to return to the venue for the first time since Coronavirus restrictions on events came into effect back in March.

Sean Murray, Hamilton City Council General Manager of Venues, Tourism and Major Events, says he is expecting an incredible atmosphere at the game, the first of four Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa matches scheduled at FMG Stadium Waikato, advising “we are anticipating a big crowd for this event, as we know there are lots of passionate Gallagher Chiefs fans who will be thrilled to be back cheering on their team from the stands. Blues supporters are also likely to make the journey down the expressway for the rivalry match.

“Our team and partners are equally as excited to welcome fans back to our venue and to get back to doing what we all love. We’ve been carrying out a lot of planning and work behind the scenes over the past couple of months in preparation for re-opening our doors to the public.”

New initiatives at the venue include the introduction of additional cleaners and sanitising stations around, as well as new contact tracing procedures at each gate - with fans having been advised to purchase tickets online ahead of the game and arrive early to avoid delays.

The venue has also worked alongside their catering partner Montana Food and Events to introduce a new contactless payment system across its retail concessions.

FMG Stadium Waikato Venue Manager Ben Slatter says while work on the contactless payment system was already underway prior to COVID-19, it was accelerated due to the pandemic.

Slatter commented “we’ve implemented and tested the contactless payment system earlier than originally planned so it can be available to rugby fans for the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition. We are confident it will stand up to the demands of an expected bumper crowd at the Gallagher Chiefs v Blues fixture this weekend.

“To ensure fast, seamless service at our concessions, people should use Paywave as their primary method of payment.”

With the introduction of the new contactless payment system, ‘cash out’ facilities will no longer be available in the stadium.

Chiefs Rugby Club Chief Executive, Michael Collins says the excitement is building for members and fans to cheer on their Gallagher Chiefs, adding “we are beyond happy to get our members, fans and stakeholders back in the stands at FMG Stadium Waikato to cheer on their Gallagher Chiefs.

“We are really excited to offer the contactless payment system as we think this will speed up customer service.”

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17th May 2020 - New Zealand budget includes $265 million for sport and recreation

11th May 2020 - Coronavirus and financial losses push New Zealand Rugby to lay off half its staff

8th May 2020 - New Zealand Government announces framework for return of professional rugby and netball competitions

8th May 2020 - World Rugby releases guidelines for top level matches to be held in closed stadiums

4th May 2020 - Hamilton City Council advises that playgrounds still off limits to keep the community safe

12th March 2020 - 25 years of Chiefs Rugby to be celebrated at FMG Stadium Waikato

6th November 2019 - FMG Stadium Waikato turf replacement project underway

28th August 2019 - Hamilton City Council confident of safety of stand at Waikato Stadium

26th June 2019 - Work set to start on new corporate boxes at FMG Stadium Waikato

27th March 2019 - FMG Stadium Waikato awarded as New Zealand’s ‘Best Venue’

5th August 2016 - Chiefs handling of stripper allegations slammed as public relations disaster

25th November 2011 - Chiefs and Council broker new Waikato Stadium deal

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