On Friday 19 June, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT Chief Health Officer has approved the pilot project in partnership with the stadium that is expect to allow “between about 1,000 and 2,000 fans to attend the Raiders and Brumbies games”.
Mr Barr said the Brumbies and Raiders will manage the ticketing. He expected “the initial tickets will be a bit scarce and highly sought after, but if the pilot goes well then of course there will be more spectators able to attend”.
“On the rough guidelines that have been provided, 25% capacity at Canberra Stadium would allow us to move up more towards 6,000-6,500 spectators in coming rounds. But we’ll start with around 1,000 as the pilot and then move beyond that for the rounds ahead.”
The Raiders will get their first opportunity to play at home on Friday 3 July when they take on the St George Illawarra Dragons.
It follows the Australian Rugby League Commission’s announcement on 19 June that it had given approval for clubs to return to their standard venues in Round 8 of the NRL Premiership.
For the Canberra Raiders, this means they no longer have to travel to Campbelltown for their ‘home’ games.
The Raiders are now working with the Stadium through the process of how the game days will work and ticket allocations for the match. Once this information is available, the Club will communicate further.
In addition to the Raiders, the Brumbies are due to host the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday 4 July in their opening fixture of the Super Rugby AU competition.
Between 1,000-1,500 spectators will be permitted to attend the match at GIO Stadium. Paying Brumbies members have the opportunity to enter into a ballot system for tickets, from which the permitted number of spectators will be drawn at random.
A limited number of corporate hospitality attendees will also be permitted under ACT COVID-19 restrictions.
More attendees are likely to be allowed into the grounds for the Brumbies’ second home fixture against the Reds on 1 August, subject to further easing of restrictions from the ACT Government.
A COVID-19 Safety Plan has been developed for the venue based on the decision by the Chief Health Officer to ensure staff, players and officials are aware of their responsibilities. This will include creating ‘clean zones’ for the players, additional cleaning, sanitising, infection control and allocated seating for spectators to meet physical distancing requirements.
The ACT Government will continue to work with the Chief Health Officer and both football clubs to ensure their return to GIO Stadium is safe, and in line with current public health directions.
The pilot will help inform how the venue can cater for larger crowds in the future, aligned with decisions made at Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and National Cabinet on large outdoor gatherings.
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