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NZ Rugby defends Lions tour prices

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016

Alun Wyn Jones of the Lions celebrates after a victory during the 2013 tour to Australia. © Getty Alun Wyn Jones of the Lions celebrates after a victory during the 2013 tour to Australia. New Zealand Rugby is defending the substantial ticket prices to watch next year's tour by the British and Irish Lions.

Pricing and sale details for the five-week tour were announced on Tuesday, accompanied by an explanation from NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew, who acknowledged prices are well in access of regular international and Super Rugby matches in New Zealand.

Tickets for the three Tests will be available by ballot and range in price from $149 to $449.

The seven other matches involving the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, the Super Rugby teams and the Maori All Blacks range from $39 to $129.

Children's tickets start at $10 for the tour-opening Barbarians match in Whangarei and $29 for the other non-Test matches.

Tew says NZ Rugby was committed to making matches affordable but acknowledged prices had to be set higher for the biggest event it can host outside a Rugby World Cup.

He says the Tests are priced at the approximate level of a World Cup quarter-final.

"We believe we've got the balance right. We want to encourage as many New Zealanders as possible to embrace this unique rugby experience as we welcome the legions of Lions fans to our shores," he said.

"The revenue that's generated from this one in 12-year event gets ploughed back into rugby at all levels for the benefit of future generations."

More than 20,000 Lions fans are forecast to arrive in New Zealand for the tour which features games from June 3 to July 8.

Of 350,000 total tickets, about 250,000 will be available through a general public ticket process. The others will be sold through official travel and hospitality packages.

An online ballot will open on September 5 for New Zealand-based fans to apply for Test tickets, with rugby stakeholders such as season ticket holders and stadium members having a better chance of success.

Tickets for the seven other games will go on general sale in New Zealand from October 28, with the same stakeholders given a priority period from early October.


TESTS (Auckland, June 24; Wellington, July 1 ; Auckland, July 8)

Prices: $149 to $449


Runs from Sept 5 to Nov 1

Ballot draw from Nov 2-16

OTHER GAMES (NZ Barbarians, Whangarei, June 3; Blues, Auckland, June 7; Crusaders, June 10, Christchurch; Highlanders, Dunedin, June 13; Maori All Blacks, Rotorua, June 17; Chiefs, June 20, Hamilton; Hurricanes, Wellington, June 27)

Adult tickets: $39 to $129

Children's tickets: $29 ($10 for Barbarians game)

Family of four: $156

Pre-sale period for rugby stakeholders from Oct 3-27

General tickets on sale from Oct 28

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