Capital gears up for big weekend of rugby

12 September 2014

With a sell-out crowd of 36,031, Saturday’s Test match between the All Blacks and South Africa at Westpac Stadium promises to make this weekend a big one for Wellington.

Before the game on Saturday night, Wellingtonians and visitors alike will be able to gear up for the game at the rugby Fanzone in Civic Square, and join in a parade to the stadium along the waterfront led by Sam Manzanza and his African drummers.

Kicking off at 12 noon in Civic Square, there will be something for all ages at the Fanzone, including face painting and a portable sports turf for rugby games. Nua Finau from Small Blacks TV will be running rugby skills games and the Ruggabees will be there.                                                            

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says that Wellington is looking forward to welcoming fans from around New Zealand and further afield. “The Events Capital knows how to create a great atmosphere for big games and our Fanzone will provide a great opportunity for families to have fun before heading to the stadium. Wrap up warm for a great game.”

Councillor Jo Coughlan, chair of Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee says that the test is a great opportunity for Wellington.  “It is great to have a sell-out game – which will provide considerable economic benefits to the city. The last time the All Blacks played South Africa in Wellington, 52% of tickets were sold to people from outside of Wellington, bringing in $9.6million of extra spending”.

Wellington Rugby chief executive James Te Puni said a Test match in Wellington was always a special occasion, and one against the Springboks had an extra buzz about it.

“Wellingtonians always get fired up about their rugby and backing the All Blacks, and I’m sure this week’s Test will be another fantastic Wellington occasion”.

The capacity crowd follows last year’s Bledisloe Cup sell-out match in the capital city, and without a Test match next year, this is Wellington’s last chance to back the men in black ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.