Lions tour set to ben­e­fit com­mu­nity

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

It’s gonna be barmy for busi­ness when up to 30,000 Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions Tour rugby fans head through the South Waikato later this year.

The Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions rugby union team, made up of na­tional play­ers from Eng­land, Ire­land, Scot­land, and Wales, will tour New Zealand and play ten games against our top teams from June 3-July 8.

While there are no lo­cal games, fans in 1500 to 2000 camper­vans are ex­pected to fol­low the team through­out the coun­try. Pu­taruru’s busi­ness com­mu­nity is be­ing proac­tive about the eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties the trav­el­ling fans are likely to bring to the South Waikato, given its cen­tral lo­ca­tion.

The South Waikato Ac­cord Group, which rep­re­sents li­censed liquor fa­cil­i­ties, and Pu­taruru’s busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion Pride of Pu­taruru, have set up a steer­ing group com­mit­tee to for­mu­late a plan of how to best ac­com­mo­date the rugby fans as they travel to and from games in New Zealand’s main cen­tres.

Spokesman Pete Gardner said for three weeks from the June 17 Rotorua game against the Maori All Blacks un­til the fi­nal match against the All Blacks in Auck­land on July 8, lo­cals are be­ing asked to do all they can to ac­com­mo­date fans.

That in­cludes dec­o­rat­ing shops with Bri­tish themes and food.

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