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Opening Night Crowd Urged to Make a Plan

5 September 2011

Opening Night Crowd Urged to Make a Plan

With tens of thousands of people expected to flock to Auckland’s waterfront Opening Night event on Friday, organisers are urging the public to plan carefully to ensure they celebrate the start of Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) with a great experience.

Opening Night starts at 4pm and features a fleet of 20 waka, concerts by the Finn Brothers, Dave Dobbyn and other kiwi acts, as well as the largest fireworks and lighting show ever to be staged in New Zealand.

RWC 2011 Auckland Co-ordination Group Chair Rachael Dacy says the event has captured the public’s imagination and it is important that people planning to head to the waterfront think ahead.

“It’s fantastic that the people of Auckland are so excited about Opening Night but if they are going to the waterfront there are some important things to think about.

“The event stretches from Queens Wharf along Quay St to Te Wero Island and has many different components so people will need to choose what they want to see and where they want to be. While all the action will be on big screens throughout the event site, some areas have limited capacity so people will not necessarily be able to move from one area to another.”

Key points to consider ahead of Opening Night:

• Nobody attending the event will be able to see all of it live. Regardless of where you are you will see parts of the event live and the rest on the big screens.
• While the overall event site has room for approximately 50,000 people, Queens Wharf’s capacity is 12,000 so it is expected to fill up early. Gates open at 3pm.
• Patrons at the Eastern Viaduct will see the arrival of the 20 waka up close followed by a mass haka from 600 kaihoe. They will view the rest of the event on big screens.
• Those on Quay St will see the procession of 600 kaihoe to Queens Wharf with multiple big screens to bring them the rest of the event.
“People will need to get there early, choose a good spot and stick to that spot,” Ms Dacy says.

She is also urging those wanting great views of the fireworks and lighting show, due to commence just before 8pm, to consider a viewing spot around the harbour’s edge away from the CBD.

“There are designated viewing areas at Devonport waterfront, Mt Victoria, Bastion Point and Parnell Rose Gardens where the music composed by Don McGlashan for this part of the show, will play and people will have a superb view of the CBD.”

“There is also the option for people to view Opening Night on TV with extended coverage on TV1 between 5 and 6pm and regular live crosses between 6 and 7.30pm. The “All Lit Up” fireworks and lighting show will be part of the international broadcast which will be live on SKY TV and TV ONE from 7.30pm.”

With heavy traffic and delays expected in and around the CBD, having a transport plan will also be important on the day and the following tips are designed to help people makes their own plans.

• If you are in the CBD on Friday, stay in town and be part of the fun or get out of the CBD by 3.30pm at the latest. Trying to get home from the CBD at peak time will be very difficult.

• There are plenty of carpark options in the CBD but if you are driving make a plan and be there early.

• Quay Street and the surrounding area will be closed so avoid driving near there, or make essential trips early.

• There are plenty of public transport options available for getting into the CBD and some services will be continuing until the early hours. Visit maxx.co.nz or call 0800 AUCKLAND for more info

• If you are in the CBD and going to the Opening Match, try the Fan Trail and walk to Eden Park and enjoy the entertainment along the way.

The public can stay up to date with the latest Opening Night information at auckland2011.com.


ENDS

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