The NRL match between the Vodafone Warriors and Manly Sea Eagles at Christchurch Stadium on March 30 is expected to bring an economic benefit to the city of nearly $6 million.
Going on last year’s figures where 17,300 watched the match between these two teams in Christchurch, a similar crowd will ensure that city businesses will again reap the benefits. Last year 5331 fans from outside Christchurch travelled to watch the match, including 900 from Auckland, 300 from greater Wellington and 120 from Australia.
Justin Wallace, of Walco Events, promoters of the match, said that the financial impact that matches such as this have on the Christchurch economy should not be under-estimated.
“There is the direct benefit for the hospitality and accommodation sectors and others such as taxi drivers. Then there is the indirect benefit from the television exposure that Christchurch receives from the live telecast,” he said. “The Warriors have been in great early season form, so we are confident they will start strongly and still be unbeaten by the time they arrive in Christchurch,” he said.
Manly are a different team this year under double Grand Final winning coach Des Hasler and won’t be an easy team this time.
“Last year’s game was a night to remember and tickets sales show that Christchurch people love big events and seeing some of the biggest NRL stars in action.” “There are still good seats left and we suggest people not leave it to the last few days and risk missing out,” says Wallace.
Once again Manly will wear a special Ngāi Tahu-inspired playing strip for the match. “The jersey, which includes a unique mix of Ngāi Tahu and Manly heritage, was commissioned by Ngāi Tahu and designed by one of its leading Māori artists and master carver, Fayne Robinson.
“It was treasured and respected by the Manly players and is only worn for these matches in Christchurch against the Warriors. “The shirt design represents the natural divide between our two countries with an eagle crossing the water to make its way to the South Island,” he said.
Also at stake is the Broadhurst-Shelford Trophy, which recognises two former Christchurch greats, Mark Broadhurst and Adrian Shelford who represented Manly in the 1980s and 1990s, and started their careers in Christchurch.
“The trophy represents an eagle in flight in reference to the way both teams play the game, with speed and skill, that wows the masses. Our aim was to hold the trophy here in Christchurch irrespective of the winner, but the Warriors were so impressed with its design and beauty that they insisted it had to return north with them for the year,” Justin Wallace said.
Tickets for the game can be purchased on www.ticketek.co.nz
Manly Sea Eagles v New Zealand Warriors, Christchurch Stadium, Saturday March 30 , 5pm kick-off.