Rugby: Supporter no fan of aftermatch band plan

A Highlanders supporter says he feels let down at not being able to watch Saturday night's game from the terrace for the normal price.

But Highlanders marketing manager Chris Green says there are plenty of other places from which to watch the match and it is not possible to differentiate between terrace spectators who just want to see the rugby and those who want to watch the game and the band Shihad.

Terrace tickets at Carisbrook have been priced at $40, up from $20, for the match between the Crusaders and the Highlanders on Saturday night, with the increase to cover a concert by Shihad.

Regular terrace-goer Kelly Austin said, in a letter to the Otago Daily Times, he felt let down by the Otago Rugby Football Union.

"I personally do not like Shihad and do not want to pay for this ticket, which leaves me two options: sit in the stands for $25 or $35, or not go to the game at all," he said.

He understood the Shihad concert was aimed at attracting university students to a one-off game, but said the move ignored the team faithful.

"If the union thinks Shihad is necessary to attract a crowd then the union should cover the costs.

After all, it is about the rugby."

Green said terrace ticket prices had to be increased to cover the cost of putting on "the country's biggest band".

He would not say how much it is costing to bring Shihad to Carisbrook.

It was unrealistic to expect organisers to differentiate between people who went on the terrace solely for the rugby and those who wanted to see both the rugby and Shihad, he said.

People had the option of sitting in the Rose stand, the Neville St and Railway stands for $25 then paying the extra $20 to listen to Shihad on the terrace.

Tickets for the main stand cost $35.

Shihad was due to start about 9.30pm and play for more than an hour, he said, and getting a band was part of the whole entertainment package.

Some people had baulked at the price but others had thought it was cheap to go to the game and then see the band, he said.

It cost $65 to see Shihad, Supergroove and Elemeno P at Lake Hawea in the New Year holiday period.

Green was hoping for a crowd of about 10,000.

About 4000 attended the Highlanders-Brumbies match last month.


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