Extra seats sit well with Warriors fans
The arrival of David Beckham’s LA Galaxy football team in December has provided a bonus for New Zealand Warriors fans.
After upsetting NRL minor premiers the Melbourne Storm last weekend, the Warriors earned an unexpected home semifinal tonight at Mt Smart Stadium.
It would have been a scramble getting extra seats installed for the game, says Auckland Regional Council stadium manager John Lynch.
But extra seating was already on the way for the match between Gal- axy and an invitation Oceania 11 on December 6.
“We thought because we’ve got the Beckham game, we can make a start on the seating,” Mr Lynch says. “It’s alleviated some of the time pressure this week.”
The ground will host just under 27,000 people for the semifinal tonight, an extra 4000 on usual capacity.
Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah says the club would have loved to have had another 10,000 seats.
He says several hundred tickets, on hold for tour parties and sponsors, were released by the club yesterday and snapped up in minutes.
More temporary seating will mean up to 40,000 people see Beckham make his Auckland debut. The final number of seats for the Galaxy game will depend on how many tickets are pre-purchased.
Mr Lynch says once they go past 30,000 seats installation costs increase greatly.
“The more seats you have, the higher in the air you go which means more construction.”
He says the regional council is hosting the event for the people of Auckland.
“It’s about providing every opportunity we can to get people in here to experience the event and send them away having a great festival sort of a time.”
Mr Lynch says it’s important the public realise Mt Smart is their stadium and not run by “a rich business”.
Surveys undertaken by the council have revealed many Aucklanders don’t know who owns the stadium. Names including Eric Watson and The Mad Butcher, Peter Leitch, were put forward.
Tickets for the Galaxy match go on sale from September 24 through www.ticketek.co.nz.
Ready for action: Mt Smart Stadium group manager John Lynch tries out the temporary seats that will be used for the Warriors semifinal tonight and the LA Galaxy match in December.