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Eden Park ready to host British and Irish Lions matches
Auckland stadium Eden Park is relishing its role as the pivotal venue in the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand, which starts with the tourists’ match against the Blues tomorrow night (7th June).
New Zealand’s largest sports stadium will be hosting three matches as part of the Lions Series 2017, which is expected to generate $26 million in GDP and 165,000 visitor nights for Auckland.
Ede Park Chief Executive Guy Ngata says he is proud of the role Eden Park will play in contributing to those outcomes and the stadium team is looking forward to hosting approximately 20,000 international and 14,000 domestic visitors as well as the local fans.
Ngata explains "we’re aiming to make the live game experience the best it can be, starting with the Blues match this week."
Former Blues captain Keven Mealamu says the Lions matches at Eden Park will be some of the most eagerly anticipated international rugby fixtures the stadium has hosted, commenting "I’ve been lucky enough to play against the British and Irish Lions. I know that whether you are playing for Auckland, the Blues or the All Blacks, taking on the Lions is a career highlight for any players involved.
"I know the fans are equally excited about what’s coming up at Eden Park and I for one can’t wait for game day."
Ngata says fans wanting to get the best out of their Eden Park live experience should be prepared for security checks taking longer than for normal rugby matches, advising fans to arrive early "to make sure you don’t miss a second of the action."
"There will be 100% bag searches. To avoid delays, please don’t bring a bag unless necessary and plan to arrive early to assist with the security process."
Ngata says public transport is the best way to get to Eden Park, as the cost is included in match tickets and special event bus and train services are provided.
Fans attending upcoming matches will experience a more vibrant Eden Park through the eyes of fellow supporters, staff, neighbours and local businesses thanks to the 80 large scale, compelling images in the Our Neighbourhood exhibition displayed throughout the stadium.
The British and Irish Lions last played a non-test match at Eden Park on 5th July 2005, when they defeated a determined Auckland side 17-13.
Following tomorrow night’s match the DHL Lions return to Eden Park for test matches on 24th June and 8th July.
To have a chance of winning the test series, they will have to do what no team has managed since 1994, defeat the All Blacks at Eden Park.
Eden Park plays host to a total of five international matches during June and July:
• DHL Lions v Blues - 7th June
• Pasifika Challenge (Wales v Tonga, All Blacks v Manu Samoa) - 16th June
• All Blacks v DHL Lions - 24th June
• All Blacks v DHL Lions - 8th July.
A limited number of tickets for tomorrow’s match are still available from Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.nzlionsseries17.com
25th May 2017 - NEW ZEALAND OFFICIALS REVIEWING LIONS TOUR SECURITY
23rd May 2017 - STEVE HARPER TAKES ON VMA LEADERSHIP ROLE
23rd May 2017 - VENUE INDUSTRY REACTS TO MANCHESTER ARENA TERROR ATTACK
26th April 2017 - NEW ZEALAND RUGBY 2017 FESTIVAL TO DELIVER ECONOMIC BENEFITS
4th April 2017 - ALL BLACKS FEATURE IN NEW CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE AUCKLAND
28th February 2017 - EDEN PARK OFFERS FIRST-HAND EVENT PREPARATION EXPERIENCE
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