Warriors returning to Eden Park in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors returning to Eden Park in NRL

18/08/2011 02:48:33 PM Comments (0)

The Warriors will start their 2012 season at Auckland's Eden Park after being approached by the NRL to return to New Zealand's biggest stadium for the opening round of the competition.

The NRL has revealed plans to not only start the season a week earlier than usual but to also begin the opening round on a Thursday night, March 1, for the first time.

"As part of what will be a fantastic start to the season, the NRL indicated they wanted us to return to Eden Park for our first game," Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said.

"They were really impressed with the occasion, the facilities and the record crowd (of 38,412) when we started our 2011 season there against Parramatta this year."

NRL chief executive David Gallop said the Warriors' historic "home" game at Eden Park this year convinced his organisation there was a real opportunity to use the venue more often.

"We encourage clubs to look for opportunities to increase attendances and to give their members access to the best possible facilities. By going to Eden Park, the Warriors are certainly looking to do just that."

Scurrah said it would be some time before the opposition and exact date for the match at New Zealand rugby's stronghold would be known.

In confirming the return to Eden Park, Scurrah stressed that Mt Smart Stadium was still, and would continue to be, the Warriors' home ground, with the remaining home games in the 2012 regular season being played there.

"With crowds at Mt Smart Stadium averaging between 12,000 and 13,000, the attendance of 38,412 we had at Eden Park this year was really beneficial in giving a wider cross-section of the public the chance to see NRL football, while also being critical for us financially."

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