Netball NZ has confirmed that tonight's ANZ Premiership match up between the Southern Steel and the Bay of Plenty Magic will play in front of an empty More FM Arena in Dunedin.
Although the match will still go ahead, the decision to play behind closed doors has come in the wake of the Government's announcement this afternoon, restricting all gatherings or public events where over 500 people could attend.
Although the news has come as a disappointment, Steel co-captain Te Hunga Reo Selby Rickit said that the choice to exclude fans from the event is in everyone's best interests.
"This is a really challenging time for everyone and we respect the decision which has been made. While we were excited to be launching our season in front of our loyal fans, this is best to keep everyone safe."
Netball NZ CEO, Jennie Wylie expressed a similar sentiment, saying that the decision to close the doors to the public is to ensure the welfare of the wider netball community.
"This decision is in the best interest of public health and wellbeing, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and our volunteers."
In the announcement, it was also confirmed that all ticket holders will be refunded.