Constellation Cup Series To Be Played In Christchurch
Netball New Zealand (NNZ) has confirmed the Constellation Cup series between the Silver Ferns and Australian Diamonds will go ahead with all four Tests played in Christchurch, closed to the general public.
The Silver Ferns and Diamonds will meet at Christchurch Arena on Tuesday 2 March and Wednesday 3 March as scheduled, but crowds for the Constellation Cup, played as part of the Cadbury Netball Series, will not be permitted due to the re-emergence of COVID-19 in the community and change of alert levels around the country.
The two Tests which were to be played in Tauranga, on Saturday 6 March and Sunday 7 March, will now also be played in Christchurch to help minimise travel.
NNZ Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said it was extremely disappointing to make these decisions in what continued to be challenging times.
“We are hugely disappointed for our netball fans who were looking forward to seeing the world champion Silver Ferns take on their biggest rivals, the world number one Diamonds,” she said.
“Our sporting landscape has changed and we must adapt and change with it. However, the priority for us will however always be the safety and wellbeing of the athletes, fans and all of those involved in the Cadbury Netball Series.
“The change in alert levels means we must follow the Ministry of Health guidelines regarding mass gatherings, which does not allow us to play in front of a crowd.”
Wyllie said the decision to play all Tests in Christchurch was around safety by minimising the need for teams to travel.
“Again, this is about the safety of the athletes, management and staff involved and being able to play all four Tests in a controlled environment played a big part in our decisions to go ahead.”
She said both the Silver Ferns, Diamonds and event staff had already adopted many of the protocols for operating at Level 2 in the build-up to the Constellation Cup and would continue to follow the regulations this week.
“We understand the disappointment that comes with making these decisions but we also feel fortunate that international netball can still be played and know the athletes from both teams will want to perform for the netball community.”
The Constellation Cup matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 3 and delayed on Prime, while all ticket purchasers will be contacted by Ticketek and will receive a full refund.
2021 CONSTELLATION CUP
All matches to be played at Christchurch Arena
Tuesday 2 March at 7.15pm
Wednesday 3 March at 7.15pm
Saturday 6 March at 4.15pm
Sunday 7 March at 3.15pm