Blues CEO explains why 'festival' at Eden Park with Crusaders was cancelled

Blues CEO Andrew Hore has explained why his franchise decided to make an early decision and call off their Footy Festival which was headlined by a pre-season clash with the Crusaders.

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Andrew Hore felt leaving a decision until Thursday was too late for many. Source: 1 NEWS

The Blues announced last night Saturday's event at Eden Park was cancelled due to the recent change in Covid-19 aert levels which has put Auckland in a Level 3 lockdown and the rest of New Zealand at Level 2.

The Government said they would review alert levels every 24 hours with Auckland's lockdown currently scheduled to only last until 11:59pm Wednesday night but it could extend if questions remain around the community cases discovered in South Auckland on Sunday.

With that in mind, Hore said it was better to make an early call than risk the safety of a large amount of people.

"It was more than a rugby game, it was a festival," Hore said.

"So there were a lot of stakeholders involved including local schools, kapa haka groups, we were going to have a women's kabadi tournament on the field - there was so much that was going to happen that we felt leaving a decision until Thursday was just too late.

"Within that too came the other variable that going from Level 3 to Level 1, you've got to make an assessment on whether that's going to logically happen."

Even if Auckland was to move out of Level 3 and back to Level 2 alongside the rest of New Zealand on Thursday, the festival would've been unable to go ahead as events and gatherings at that level can only have up to 100 people.

Hore added there was also the safety of his players to think of, who will have gone most of this week without any contact training due to the lockdown.

The CEO said the group he feels for the most though are Eden Park employees.

"I feel for the 3000 workers there that this has had an impact on," he said.

"They've been fantastic to us."

The Blues are now looking into a wide range of options to recover the pre-season match ahead of this year's Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, including playing the Crusaders in Christchurch this weekend.