The Vodafone Warriors have today announced all remaining tickets for tonight’s season-opener against the Bulldogs will be available to the public free-of-charge from midday in the wake of yesterday’s horrendous terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
Club CEO Cameron George said the decision had been made in order to encourage the public to show unity at Mt Smart Stadium today.
“We are all devastated and in shock about what happened in Christchurch yesterday,” he said.
“New Zealand is hurting. We are New Zealand’s team in the NRL and we want the public to join us this evening to acknowledge collectively those who have been affected by the heinous act in our country.
“Let’s use tonight’s match as an opportunity for the New Zealand public to stand shoulder to shoulder.”
In confirming the release of free tickets, George also outlined that additional security measures have been put in place for tonight’s game.
“We want the public to come and feel safe at Mt Smart Stadium,” he said.
“We have been in constant dialogue with Auckland Stadiums and the New Zealand Police since yesterday and I can assure fans we take their safety seriously.”
Auckland Stadiums Acting Director James Parkinson said there would be a strong Police presence at the venue and additional security staff amongst a raft of other measures.
“In light of yesterday's tragic events in Christchurch, we have proactively worked with the relevant agencies to enhance the security measures in place at Mt Smart Stadium for today’s event,” he said.
“These measures will be evident for all that attend and we do ask for people to arrive earlier than usual.
“Please also take note of our Text Assist service where you can report anything directly to our Venue Operations Centre – simply text the word ASSIST then your message to 260.”
The Vodafone Warriors will wear black armbands in their season-opener and a minute’s silence will also be observed by both teams before kick-off. The New Zealand national anthem will also be played.
“Given it’s game day, there’s a limited number of tickets still available,” George added.
“We are restricting the allocation of tickets available to ensure we can logistically manage the crowd size in terms of traffic management and catering and, as such, will not be opening the upper south stand.
“Tickets are limited.
“Let’s stand as one tonight. We will not be deterred. Our house is your house and anyone is welcome.”
Ticketmaster, the Vodafone Warriors’ ticketing partner, has also waived all ticketing fees today only and free tickets can only be secured at www.ticketmaster.co.nz.
If fans who access free tickets from midday are charged fees, Ticketmaster will refund those fees in the coming days.