Rugby: Game bid effectively stymied

Richard Reid
Richard Reid
The decision to build a temporary stadium in Christchurch effectively meant a bid by the Otago Rugby Football Union to get Ireland to play a test in Dunedin next year never gained traction, ORFU general manager Richard Reid said yesterday.

Reid said the Otago union had made a pitch to get Ireland to play at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

He said the stadium staked up well in terms of pricing and being able to attract a capacity crowd.

But once it had been decided the Irish would play a test in the new temporary stadium in Christchurch the other two tests were allocated to the North Island.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies said given the marvellous atmosphere at the stadium when Ireland played Italy during the World Cup it would have been great to get Ireland back but he was pleased to get the Springboks playing the All Blacks.

Ireland is playing the other tests in Hamilton and Auckland and negotiations are continuing between the two unions over whether midweek games will be played.

Reid said he could not begrudge Christchurch getting a test, and Dunedin had done well to get the Springbok match.

Reid expected there to be heavy demand for tickets for the September 15 test.

"When you think a test like against Wales sold out a month in advance then something like this, against the Springboks and the first All Black test in the stadium, then it could sell out something like three months in advance. Tickets will sell like hot cakes."

Reid said when the union owned Carisbrook it would have made a lot more money from hosting a test match but t it could still make money from the test, though probably only about 40% of what it had when it owned the ground.

The All Blacks will play Australia at Eden Park on August 25, and Argentina in Wellington on September 8.



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