October date for Bledisloe Cup test

Steve Tew
Steve Tew
Bledisloe Cup rugby returns to Dunedin next year with confirmation the city will host the third match in the three-test series.

The game between Australia and New Zealand will be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium on October 19 - the first time the old foes have met in Dunedin since 2001.

The match was announced by New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew yesterday as one of seven domestic All Blacks tests in 2013.

Mr Tew effectively confirmed the game for Dunedin in March following the announcement of a bail-out package for the Otago Rugby Football Union.

Part of the NZRU deal to keep Otago going was for the stadium to get two category A tests over the next two years.

"I know Dunedin will ... be looking to build on the success of the South Africa test this year when they host the All Blacks for the second time at the magnificent Forsyth Barr Stadium," Mr Tew said.

The test against the Springboks in September boosted the Dunedin economy, with businesses reporting rugby fans increasing the turnover in bars, restaurants and retail outlets up to 400%.

DVML chief executive Darren Burden said he was pleased the stadium was awarded the match on the back of the Springboks test.

He was expecting another bumper crowd to fill the stadium in October.

With the addition of 450 seats in the Otago Daily Times stand, the number of seats available would be 29,255, which was probably the largest crowd for a sports event at the stadium, he said.

Discussions on when tickets would go on sale would take place over the next few weeks.

DVML had come to a favourable financial arrangement with the NZRU, and with venue hire covering the stadium's operating costs for the event, DVML would take a percentage of the revenue from the match, he said.

"This will be one of the more profitable events at the stadium."

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull welcomed the test match and said he expected it would bring even more people to the city than the South Africa game did.

ORFU general manager Richard Kinley said it was great news for Otago and even more special that the game was the last of three Bledisloe matches.

"That could be the one to play for - it could come down to the wire."


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