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 Football 
Saturday, September 24 2022
Eden Park enlisting the help of volunteers ahead of huge weekend of sport

Organisers of this weekend's blockbuster triple-header of sport at Eden Park are using volunteers from churches and rugby clubs to help bolster the numbers of staff amidst the hospitality worker shortage.

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner says they are expecting close to 100,000 fans across the two days, eager to watch the three international sports fixtures: Black Ferns v Japan, the Bledisloe Cup fixture and the All Whites v Socceroos.

"The opportunity to host two Australian international teams in one weekend is extremely rare, making this a great chance for the public to witness our top rugby and football players take on our traditional rivals from across the ditch," Sautner said.

The Bledisloe Cup has a huge element of intrigue, with the All Blacks looking to keep their record of 47 unbeaten games at Eden Park intact.

Similarly, the All Whites have a point to prove after their disappointing World Cup playoff exit. These two games will set up a massive weekend of transtasman rivalry at its best.

In addition, the Black Ferns will take on Japan, one last chance to warm up before the Rugby World Cup, which starts on Saturday October 8.

However, along with the huge crowds comes the need for extra staff, something the hospitality sector has lacked for some time now.

Sautner said his team have tackled this issue by enlisting the help of about 450 volunteers from rugby clubs and churches to bolster staff numbers across the two massive days of sport.

"Obviously it's been a challenge across the industry, particularly in hospitality, to get resources," Sautner said.

"In an initiative with O'Brien group has seen approximately 450 volunteers from church groups and rugby clubs assist with our staffing numbers and then we also have 300 security staff deployed across the venue."

Sautner maintains that this blockbuster weekend will have an "undeniable" impact on the local economy, including businesses and hospitality, and not just Eden Park's revenue.

He also said events like these provide escapism for fans and go far in restoring the public's confidence in the events sector.

"There is no doubt in my mind that the fans and the community will be the real winners, regardless of the outcome on the field. The opportunity to witness some of the best rugby and football players compete across one weekend of epic sport is something that we are genuinely excited about," Sautner highlighted.

"After a difficult few years of experiencing lockdowns and cancelled events, we cannot wait to welcome everyone back together for a sporting extravaganza."

Posted by: AT 11:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email