Crusaders struggling to sell tickets for opener

The Crusaders open their Super 14 on Friday night against another former champion team, the Brumbies but if things stay the same AMI Stadium will be far from full.

Public apathy has translated into a significant drop in season ticket sales.

“From memory, they are down about 15 to 20 per cent from last year,” Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach told The Press.

“It’s a concern that they have been a little slower than we would have liked.”

The Crusaders are not alone in suffering from a slump in ticket sales because the other four NZ franchises are said to be struggling to generate interest as well.

There are a number of reasons why New Zealanders interest could be waining but Riach has put a different spin on it and remains positive.

“Don’t underestimate the disappearance of those stands — the majority of ticket holders (from the eastern stands) no longer have their existing seats.”Riach said.

“There is now the issue of having to move a number of people who have been going to those stands (on the eastern side). It’s not just about the World Cup or too much rugby.”

The AMI stadium’s capacity has dropped from around 35,000 to 25,500 and there is now less covered seating so fans could be biding their time to see what seats they will get before making a decision on buying season tickets.

While construction of the new stand that will seat 15,000 people begins in July it is expected to be completed before the 2010 Super 14 starts.


Demolition of the current stand is underway.   

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