It’s been a challenging year for many people in Hawke’s Bay who have faced a severe drought, Covid -19 and most recently the flooding, which had particular impact on the communities surrounding McLean Park. So a group of local businesses along with the Napier City council have banded together to let Hawke’s Bay know “this ones on us”.
Hawke’s Bay is renowned for loyally supporting its team, the Magpies, so the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union have decided to repay that support and attempt to bring some joy to everyone who could do with a little good in their lives at the moment.
Hawke’s Bay rugby Chief Executive Jay Campbell said ‘2020 has been a real challenge with tough times for many. Our farmers have been hit hard with droughts, Napier smashed last week with flooding and all business sectors and communities have been affected by Covid and the lockdown.
Campbell continued ‘Therefore, with the support of fantastic partners and the Napier City Council we are privileged to be able to make this weekend’s semifinal free and of charge so that everyone can forget about all the challenges for a couple of hours and come along and enjoy some semi-final footy in the sun’
Following the Magpies victory against Wellington, the HBRU started working with several partners to try and make ‘free entry’ a reality.
Napier City Council, Unison and Napier Businessman Rodney Green have all contributed to support the HBRU in covering the costs to open the gates and make the event free of charge for both stand and general admission areas.
‘To have such generous supporters agree so quickly to support this initiative and make it a reality just shows how much they all value, appreciate and support this province. My thanks to all of these very special partners especially Kirsten Wise and the Napier City Council who were so supportive right from the get-go to get this off the ground for a community that has been hit hard over recent months’ said Campbell.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise confirmed ‘“The rain event last week highlights the ongoing resilience shown by our community in times of adversity. Good on the Magpies for opening the semi-final up for our residents! As a city, we’re happy to get completely behind this and help it happen.”
Unison Group Chief Executive Ken Sutherland added “Following a difficult year for our communities, we are pleased to be in a position where we can assist our people to support our team. The Magpies have galvanised so many this year and we hope they can continue to give a Hawke’s Bay crowd something to celebrate this weekend.”
And Napier Businessman Rodney Green was delighted to be supporting what he says is ‘a great initiative that will give this community something to cheer about considering the hardships everyone has faced during the year and if I can do my small part to make it happen, then I am more than happy to do so’
Hawke’s Bay Rugby will allocate sections in the stands for their season members and sponsors to thank them for their loyal support in addition to a large number of tickets being provided to those families directly affected by the recent floods and/or are currently displaced and living at Kennedy Park. However, with over 8,500 seats and a ground capacity of 16,500 there will be plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the experience.
The match kicks off at 4:35pm this Saturday the 21st November. Gates will open from 3pm and available stand seating will be allocated on a first in first served basis. If the Magpies win they will host the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final back at McLean Park on Friday 27th November at 7:05pm.
Further details around match enhancement and other exciting initiatives will be released over the coming days as preparations for this special match are finalised.