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Super Rugby Aotearoa venues 'ready to roll' with crowds if NZ makes early Level 1 shift

Ghost sporting venues are set to be a thing of the Covid past - music to the ears of players, administrators, accountants, stadium managers and most importantly sports fans.

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Level 1 could be introduced before the first round of the competition, meaning fans could fill the stands for all 10 weeks. Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed discussions on a shift to Level 1 could be brought forward with a decision made as early as June 8, just 72 hours before Super Rugby relaunches with the Aotearoa competition.

But if that were to happen, could Kiwis turn up to the first game in Dunedin, relatively unhindered?

Terry Davies, CEO of Dunedin Venues, said it’d be no issue for Forsyth Barr Stadium.

“We're ready to go if the Government and the Minister of Health give us the go ahead,” Davies said.

“We're ready to roll. It would be amazing to see a full house. Two weeks ago, we had no-one here.”

Davies added precautions like ticket tracing are likely to be used for the first few rounds.

In the North, the Blues host the Hurricanes a day later, three months since the last action of any kind was seen at Eden Park.

But like those in the deep South, Blues chief executive Andrew Hore says Eden Park will be ready to kick into action if they get the go ahead with fewer staff and less working hours.

“We will have to amend butt ticket prices accordingly, cos this is just not one sector of the community that’s been affected. It's all sectors.”

One of the Blues’ issues pre-lockdown was a lack of big crowds but Hore believes sports return could help turn that around.

“I think there'll be an excitement.”

The Chiefs’ home stadium is in the starting blocks as well with officials picking a huge crowd if allowed for the Battle of the Bombays clash the following week on Saturday June 20.

But before anyone can get in the stands, they’ll have to be like players and wait for officials to signal things can get underway, leaving all eyes on the Beehive and June 8.