Suncorp Stadium has tonight welcomed what is believed to be the largest sporting crowd in the world since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March.
While the ASM Global-managed stadium did not reach its 52,500 capacity due to some lingering biosecurity measures, the official crowd for the State of Origin finale between Queensland and NSW at the Brisbane venue was 49,155.
That figure eclipsed the 46,000 figure that was posted for last month’s Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between New Zealand and Australia at Auckland’s Eden Park and the 29,707 at the AFL Grand Final at the Gabba last month, which itself had been the biggest attendance at a sporting fixture since 86,174 watched the Women’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG on 8th March.
On 11th March, the World Health Organization officially declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic.
The venue operating at near capacity was mad possible following Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk having announced last week that open-air venues with a COVIDSafe Plan would be able to operate at full capacity as of yesterday.
Fans were asked to ensure their safety by wearing a mask unless they were seated and to remain within the zone allocated on their ticket to minimise circulation. Cashless payments only were also in use for food, beverages and merchandise.
Images: Fans at tonight's State of Origin decider (top, credit: Blair Hughes/Facebook) and the venue prior to the game (below, credit: Suncorp/Facebook).
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