American football arrives in New Zealand
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.”