Canterbury Rugby union, with the help of their sponsors has shown support to its local community in Christchurch which was recently hit by an earthquake by making match admission in the high profile ITM Cup fixture between Canterbury and Wellington, free of charge.
Canterbury Rugby Union Release
Canterbury Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Hamish Riach has announced that the Canterbury v Wellington ITM Cup match at AMI Stadium next Saturday afternoon will be free admission.
The free admission offer is in response to the earthquake disaster in Canterbury and has been made possible thanks to support from the CRFU, NZRU, CRFU sponsors AMI Insurance, Tui, TicketDirect and AMI Stadium managers Vbase.
Mr Riach said: “The Canterbury region has gone through a lot recently and rugby and its partners are absolutely delighted to give this high-profile game to the community free of charge.
“Sport can play a big part in taking people’s minds off their troubles and we hope that watching what will be a great game at AMI Stadium between two great rivals will help in some small way. It is sure to be a great occasion.”
The special ‘earthquake match’, which kicks off at the family friendly time of 2.35pm, will still be ticketed. Free tickets will be available from midday on Monday, September 20, and the public are urged to get their tickets as early as possible from this time as a large crowd is expected.
Tickets can be picked up at www.ticketdirect.co.nz (phone 0800 224 224), Champions of the World in Colombo Street, Christchurch, or from participating Warehouse outlets in Canterbury.
All public sales already made for the match will be refunded by TicketDirect if the purchaser wishes.
AMI Insurance Chief Executive Officer John Balmforth said: “As a New Zealand owned insurance company based in Christchurch, our staff and customers have felt and seen the destruction of the earthquake and its effects on people’s lives first hand. This opportunity to assist with opening the doors of AMI Stadium next Saturday is one way we can say thank you to all Cantabrians who are working to help our community, and say thank you to our customers and our staff for their support.”
Vbase Chief Executive Bryan Pearson said: “Vbase wants to help lift the spirits of Cantabrians when many are having a tough time. I’m delighted our partners at AMI Stadium have been able to make this happen and in particular I want to thank AMI Insurance who are doing so much to support our community in getting back on its feet.”
Tui South Island Brand Manager, Hamish Yates, said DB was proud of its long association with the CRFU which stretches back to 1994.
“The relationship DB has with the union and players through the Tui brand is incredibly strong. We’re honoured to be able to extend that support to the Canterbury community and rugby fans by contributing towards complimentary tickets to the match. Hopefully this event brings some enjoyment to those that have endured so much over the past few weeks.”
NZRU CEO Steve Tew said New Zealanders all over the country were moved by the events in Canterbury and it was important for New Zealand rugby to show its support.
“Our All Blacks coaches and senior All Blacks have also been victims of this earthquake and so we know that the impact has been very real, and in some cases, devastating. We want those affected by the earthquake and continuing aftershocks to know that the rest of the country is behind them,” he said.
TicketDirect CEO Matthew Davey said: “It’s fantastic to see the whole country rally around the people of Canterbury, and we’re just happy that TicketDirect can offer the support of the Live Events Industry and our ticketing partner, The Warehouse, with this great initiative.”
Neither AMI Stadium nor the playing field has been adversely affected by the recent quake or aftershocks.