Amer­i­can football ar­rives in New Zealand

Travel Digest - - NEWS - — Lorraine Thom­son

Amer­i­can football will be com­ing to New Zealand in March next year, kick­ing off a sport­ing and en­ter­tain­ment show­down that has never been seen be­fore in this coun­try. The com­pe­ti­tion, known as the South­ern Bowl, will see New Zealand host two spe­cially se­lected teams of pro­fes­sional football play­ers from North Amer­ica. The games will take place over two week­ends at Eden Park in Auck­land and West­pac Sta­dium in Welling­ton, with the grounds trans­formed into Amer­i­can football fields. An am­bi­tious 85,000 spec­ta­tors are ex­pected for the two games. The South­ern Bowl has been three years in the mak­ing for Christchurch-based Dou­glas Web­ber Events, with man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Craig Dou­glas, coin­ing it “the sport and en­ter­tain­ment event of 2016”. “Amer­i­can Football is a sport we have all heard about, but few New Zealan­ders have had the op­por­tu­nity to see it live. Now, for the first time in the history of this pas­sion­ate sport­ing na­tion, all the fun and ac­tion en­grained in Amer­i­can Football cul­ture will come alive here,” says Mr Dou­glas. The event is not an of­fi­cial NFL event, rather an ex­hi­bi­tion se­ries, which in 2017 will be taken to Aus­tralia. The player se­lec­tion process kicks off on 11 July 2015, with try-outs held across the United States, fa­cil­i­tated by sports agent Jarin Giesler, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Giesler Sports World-Wide. Mr Giesler, made the re­cent an­nounce­ment at Auck­land’s Eden Park, on what was his first visit to New Zealand. In Au­gust, over 100 play­ers, coach­ing and sup­port staff will be fi­nalised as the teams trav­el­ling to New Zealand to bat­tle it out on the field, with the win­ning team tak­ing home the inau­gu­ral South­ern Bowl Cup. “We have had over­whelm­ing in­ter­est from some of the most promis­ing football play­ers in the States, many keen to travel to New Zealand to show­case the sport,” said Mr Giesler. “This is our op­por­tu­nity to show­case Amer­i­can football cul­ture to New Zealand.” Ex­pe­ri­ence Group will be look­ing af­ter en­ter­tain­ment around the event and a travel whole­saler is cur­rently been sought to pack­age travel with tick­ets.

The inau­gu­ral South­ern Bowl Cup.

Giesler Sports World-Wide pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive Jarin Giesler . . . “This is our op­por­tu­nity to show­case Amer­i­can football cul­ture to New Zealand.”

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