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Aussie Rules football to allow limited crowd


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Aussie Rules football to allow limited crowd

SYDNEY • Thousands of spectators will be able to attend an Australian Rules football match this weekend as the competition resumes after its coronavirus shutdown.

Saturday’s Australian Football League (AFL) match between rivals Port Adelaide and Adelaide will be open to fans – the biggest sports crowd in the country for months. About 2,000 people will be permitted to sit in Adelaide Oval’s general admission area, and another 240 in private rooms – well below the venue’s 53,000-capacity, to meet social distancing requirements.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said numbers would increase “slowly and gradually” throughout the season to ensure fans’ safety.

“Football and crowds are back in South Australia,” he said. “South Australia will be the first with a significant number of people at an AFL match and the first time we have had a significant crowd at any sport in Australia for months and months and months.”

The announcement comes a day after New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa announced that stadiums would be open to fans this weekend.

Auckland Blues boss Andrew Hore said more than 20,000 tickets had been sold for Sunday’s match against the Wellington Hurricanes.

The domestic competition was organised after the wider Super Rugby tournament, involving teams from Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan, was postponed owing to Covid-19.

“(Tickets) are really whipping out the door, which is fantastic and I think it’s a sign of the fact that people want to go and have some form of social experience,” Hore said.

“It also helps the industry a lot and the industries that feed off our industry… We’re thinking in excess of 35,000 (will turn up).”

More than 12,000 tickets have been sold for the opener between Otago Highlanders and Waikato Chiefs in Dunedin on Saturday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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June 10, 2020 5:00 AM

SYDNEY • Thousands of spectators will be able to attend an Australian Rules football match this weekend as the competition resumes after its coronavirus shutdown.

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