Fijians splurge millions on a single game of rugby
We’re crazy about rugby, but it’s still a lot of money to spend on a match you could watch in the comfort of your home without spending a cent.
The Chiefs won 23-13 in Suva last year, but the Scott Robertson-coached Crusaders are on top of the competition with 11 consecutive wins this year.
Last year, the rain did little to dampen spirits of a sold out 20,000 crowd, whose support was split evenly between the Chiefs and Crusaders. Both had crowd-favourite Fijian players in their ranks in the past.
The Chiefs said that they made more money from hosting the game in Fiji than they would have from playing it in front of a sold out FMG Stadium in Waikato.
The Fijian government believes millions on a Super Rugby fixture paves the way to host a leg of the elusive HSBC World Sevens Series. Fiji can only bid for the world series in 2019 since the present ten cities are locked in with a contract with World Rugby until then.
Last year, $2.3 million was given to meet team guarantees, accommodation and local travel costs. The sports ministry estimated the direct economic benefit to be more than $19 million.
Fiji Airways provided two direct flights from Auckland to Suva for the teams, and two extra chartered flights to bring in those who purchased sponsored packages for the event.
The government agreed to a three-year arrangement to host Super Rugby matches in Fiji, with one game to be played annually in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The Chiefs have only committed until 2017, with match promoter Fortress Information Systems Ltd to determine the makeup of fixtures beyond that.
The Chiefs vs. Crusaders match will kick-off at 7.35pm on Friday.
Platinum seating costs $190, Gold seating $150, Concrete embankment $50, and Grass embankment $30.
Tickets are available online and also at the stadium gates. The road from the junctions of Queen Elizabeth Drive and Grantham Road in Suva will be closed off from 4 pm to control and direct traffic.