No spectators, but live coverage of schools final

Does Forsyth Barr Stadium count as an indoor venue under the new protocol?
Forsyth Barr Stadium will host the Otago Secondary Schools rugby final in an empty stadium.
Mum, dad, sis — you did not make the guest list.

The premiership final of the Otago Premier Schools tournament will be played at an empty Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

The eagerly anticipated finale between Otago Boys’ and King’s will be broadcast live on Sky.

But the list of people allowed through the gate is very short.

Unless you are a player, coach, official or working for the broadcaster, you will get turned back.

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 100 people.

Otago Secondary School Rugby Council chairman Greg Heller said it was unfortunate but they had to abide by the restrictions.

"The carrot is that it is being filmed and that gives us maximum exposure," he said.

The irony is if the game was being held at either Otago Boys’ or King’s, people would be able to pop along to watch it just as they have continued to watch premier club rugby despite being discouraged from attending.

"We signalled right from the start it was our intention to play the game at the stadium," Heller responded when asked if any consideration was given to shifting it to another venue.

"In the end it was a reasonably easy decision. We’re playing at the stadium, it is being televised and we locked it in with Sky early doors."

It is a large stadium, though. Areas could be created within the facility to safely house family.

Asked if some flexibility had been requested, Heller said they were "following a strict set of protocols which have come from the stadium itself".

The game is a curtain-raiser for the Otago-Auckland Mitre 10 Cup game.

There are two other Otago Premier School finals. John McGlashan College is hosting St Kevin’s College in the middle four final and Wakatipu High School is hosting South Otago High School in the bottom four final.

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