Cheers to world cup

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Scott Mor­gan

RESTAU­RANT and bar own­ers close to Eden Park are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter last week’s an­nounce­ment that the ground will host a to­tal of nine games dur­ing the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Thou­sands of tourists and lo­cals will flock to the 60,000 seat sta­dium dur­ing the world cup, with the ground set to host both semi­fi­nals, the fi­nal, the play­off for third and fourth as well as five pool games, in­clud­ing the open­ing match.

For­mer All Black Gary Braid, who owns the Kings­lan­der on New North Rd, is con­fi­dent his bar is equipped to cope with the crowds af­ter suc­cess­fully deal­ing with the Bri­tish Lions tour in 2005, and other All Blacks tests.

“We’ve ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing of what it’s go­ing to be like,” he says.

“The re­cov­ery time is go­ing to be shorter be­fore we get hit again.”

Mr Braid says he’d like to see New North Rd sec­tioned off dur­ing the cup, with a big screen and food and bev­er­age stalls pro­vid­ing a party at­mos­phere.

“Sure traf­fic changes would be needed but we’re show­cas­ing our­selves to the world,” he says.

“We’ve screamed out for the world cup for so long, you need to do it well for the peo­ple that come.”

Mr Braid could have an ex­tra con­nec­tion to the tour­na­ment with son Luke, 20, cur­rently in the Chiefs wider train­ing squad and a po­ten­tial fu­ture All Black.

His older son Daniel, 28, also played for the All Blacks at the 2003 World Cup.

The tour­na­ment will also give Mr Braid the chance to catch up with a few rugby mates.

“I’m looking for­ward to the boys from over­seas that I played against com­ing to town.”

Noel Quin­li­van, owner of the Clare Inn on Do­min­ion Rd, is also ex­pect­ing some fa­mil­iar faces to re­turn to his Ir­ish pub dur­ing the world cup.

“We are well-known from other tours. When the Lions were here we had a great week-and-a-half.”

He says dur­ing the Lions tour a mar­quee had to be erected at the back of the pub to cope with the num­bers.

“I would say this tour­na­ment is go­ing to have a ma­jor im­pact,” he says.

Horse and Trap owner War­ren Ste­wart says prep- ara­tion is the key when deal­ing with such large num­bers of peo­ple at his Mt Eden bar.

“One of the ma­jor is­sues is trans­port. We’ll be in­di­cat­ing what times trains are go­ing to the ground.

“From a hos­pi­tal­ity point of view you’re looking for skilled staff.

“That takes a lot of train­ing so we’re start­ing that phase now.”

Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Sned­den says it was a strate­gic move to have the bronze fi­nal on a Fri­day night and the fi­nal on a Sun­day night over Labour week­end.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to al­low all those peo­ple here to en­joy Auck­land and suck up New Zealand,” he says.

The semi­fi­nals and fi­nal will start at 9pm to ac­com­mo­date north­ern hemi­sphere view­ers, while the bronze fi­nal and week­end pool matches will kick off no later than 8.30pm.

Eden Park will also host the open­ing cer­e­mony be­fore the first match of the tour­na­ment with the All Blacks fac­ing Tonga.

Mr Sned­den says he’s con­fi­dent there’ll be no hic­cups with the re­de­vel­op­ment of Eden Park over the next two and a half years.


Bring it on: For­mer All Black and owner of the Kings­lan­der Gary Braid is ex­cited about the eco­nomic boost Rugby World Cup games will bring to busi­nesses around Eden Park in 2011.

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