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Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium ready for record-breaking month

21 March 2018

Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium ready for record-breaking month

Fresh off the back of the Vodafone Warriors opening home game win over the Gold Coast Titans, Mt Smart Stadium is being transformed into concert mode for the record-setting Ed Sheeran concerts, and will be transformed again ahead of the historic NRL double-header.

It is a record run of sport and music over the next month says Auckland Stadiums’ Venue Development Strategy director, Paul Nisbet.

Last Saturday’s NRL Premiership clash launched a blockbuster year of home matches for the Warriors, which includes the first-ever NRL double-header in New Zealand on Saturday April 7 featuring the Warriors against the North Queensland Cowboys and the Wests Tigers playing the Melbourne Storm.

Vodafone Warriors Chairman Jim Doyle says the team is boosted by the positive start to the season and looking forward to the big event on the horizon.

“Mt Smart Stadium is the home of rugby league. We love training and playing here and after a win in our first home match on Saturday, we have two important away matches then we can turn our attention to the double-header, which will be a massive week for rugby league in New Zealand.”

Immediately following last Saturday’s match, pack-in began for the stadium to host Ed Sheeran’s record-setting “Divide” World Tour showcasing the venue’s versatility and ability to absorb the massive scale of the stadium concert acts around professional sporting fixtures.

Ed Sheeran plays Mt Smart Stadium over three consecutive nights on Saturday March 24, Sunday March 25 and Monday March 26. The shows have already sold more than 132,000 tickets with barely any seats remaining for sale. Last year, the previously record-setting Adele shows attracted 128,000 to the same venue.

This adds to the many records Sheeran and promoter Frontier Touring have already broken on their tour. With more than 1 million tickets sold across Australasia, the tour is already the biggest ever to visit the region.

The machinery supporting the New Zealand leg of these Ed Sheeran shows includes 20 b-train trucks. Immediately following the last show the pack out will see these trucks return, after being staged in and around the Mt Smart precinct, and work through till dawn in moving the show to the airport and down to Dunedin for the second leg of New Zealand tour. Mt Smart will then transition back into NRL mode ahead of the huge SKYCITY NRL double-header.

The trio of Ed Sheeran shows caps a stellar line-up of stars including Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters and Sia who have performed at Mt Smart Stadium over the summer concert season.

Says Nisbet: “Aucklanders as well as visitors from other parts of New Zealand have demonstrated they love these big stadium performances. Auckland has been able to capture a huge range of shows over the last four to five years, including the three-night stands by Adele last year and now Ed Sheeran at Mt Smart Stadium. The city is firmly fixed on the Australasian tour schedules for major touring acts.”

Mr Nisbet says Auckland Stadiums has invested in infrastructure at Mt Smart Stadium over recent years to maximise the use of the venue and deliver events in different modes including demountable seating and turf protection to accommodate all the various users.

– ENDS –

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