http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/kiwi-bid-to-snatch-an-origin-match/story-e6frg7mf-1225887322227Kiwi bid to snatch an Origin match
NEW Zealand officials have stepped up their attempts to take a State of Origin game across the Tasman.
This is amid concerns the final match of this year's series could attract the smallest Sydney crowd in nearly a decade.
from Auckland's Eden Park attended Origin II in Brisbane and Australian
Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr confirmed he had received two
follow-up phone calls from New Zealand officials expressing their
interest in hosting a game.
Although the ARL is yet to receive a
formal proposal, Carr said his body would seriously consider taking a
game to New Zealand if it was financially viable. Eden Park is
undergoing a $NZ240.5 million ($197.2m) facelift for next year's rugby
union World Cup which will increase its capacity to 50,000.
ARL already has a deal in place to play one game of the 2012 series in
Melbourne and the earliest a game could be taken to Auckland would be
2013 given existing stadium deals.
However, a disappointing
crowd at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night would only add impetus to calls
for matches to be taken away from Sydney.
"We have already taken games to Melbourne successfully," Carr said. "Everyone criticised us for that but it's really worked.
taking another game to Melbourne in 2012. We have had real interest
from Eden Park in Auckland about a game. In the short-term we have
"The chief executive of Eden Park came
over for the Suncorp (Stadium) game. They're talking seriously about
trying to get a game over there."
Although 60,000 tickets have
been sold for Wednesday night's dead-rubber at ANZ Stadium, there are
genuine fears the attendance may be the smallest at a Sydney game since
the opening match of the 2002 series, when only 55,421 turned out at
the Olympic venue.
Carr, who also said the Victorian government
had shown an interest in hosting a game in Melbourne on yearly basis,
encouraged Blues supporters to turn out on Wednesday night.
Origin game is its own event," Carr said. "Each game produces its own
history and drama. NSW people need to get out as they have done in the
past and support their team."