New Zealand Warriors sponsor Vodafone spends a fortune on incredible gesture to fans for final home game

New Zealand Warriors sponsor Vodafone is spending a fortune on an incredible gesture to ensure the club’s final home game of the season will be spectacular

  • Vodafone have bought all the tickets to Mount Smart Stadium for the September 3 clash against Gold Coast – and will give them away to fans
  • Warriors chief hopes to see stadium packed for final game
  • Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster from Monday

The New Zealand Warriors will miss the final for the fourth straight season, but NRL side Auckland will sell out for their final game of the year next weekend.

Main sponsor Vodafone has bought all the remaining seats at Mount Smart Stadium for the September 3 clash against Gold Coast and will offer tickets to fans.

“It’s a great gesture,” Warriors general manager Cameron George said.

“We have had a difficult two and a half years with our players unable to play at home in front of their fans due to border closures.

Warriors' Tohu Harris leads the team during the NRL Round 16 game between New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium.  It was the first time the Warriors had played at home in over 1,000 days

Warriors’ Tohu Harris leads the team during the NRL Round 16 game between New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium. It was the first time the Warriors had played at home in over 1,000 days

“We can’t wait to see the fans pack Mt Smart again as we line up under our COVID exile and celebrate the dawn of a home season in New Zealand.”

Vodafone have sponsored New Zealand’s only NRL team for two decades and have extended their deal until the end of the 2026 season. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster from Monday.

In early August, the club made headlines after security guards kicked out a local fan for drinking a beer out of his shoe.

Calley Gibbons, 31 – nicknamed Roger Shoey Vasa-Shack by other fans – said he was banned for life by a security guard for being shoey in the Warriors’ big win over the Bulldogs.

A petition was hastily launched to bring Gibbons back into the stadium and it garnered over 3,000 signatures.

The Warriors then released a statement saying Gibbons was not banned and that they hoped to see him again in a home game.

Vodafone has bought all the tickets at Mount Smart Stadium for the September 3 clash against Gold Coast - and will give them away to fans.

Vodafone has bought all the tickets at Mount Smart Stadium for the September 3 clash against Gold Coast – and will give them away to fans.

In early July, the Warriors had a long-awaited return to their home turf, which they hadn’t played in over 1,000 days.

No NRL side have dropped out more during the pandemic than the Warriors, who were forced to base themselves in Redcliffe, Queensland due to Covid travel restrictions.

Without the team’s sacrifice, the entire NRL competition would have suffered incalculable damage – but according to furious fans this went unacknowledged in coverage of the game, which saw Foxtel commentators Brenton Speed ​​and Shane Flanagan call the action from a studio in Australia. .

“This is the Warriors biggest game since 2011 and Fox is giving us Brenton Speed ​​and Shane Flanagan. They admitted they don’t care about the Warriors doing this,’ Kenny Mac wrote.

Warriors cult hero Calley Gibbons has said he was told he had a lifetime ban from the club pitch for shoeing outside the coach's box - but the club encouraged him to keep coming to their matches.

Warriors cult hero Calley Gibbons has said he was told he had a lifetime ban from the club pitch for shoeing outside the coach’s box – but the club encouraged him to keep coming to their matches.

‘Commentators sound so damn remote. I can’t feel any atmosphere. Too bad because it’s such a big occasion in New Zealand. Hope this isn’t a regular thing,’ JR Stewart tweeted.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George has called for every one of the club’s NRL games in 2023 to be played in New Zealand to restart the sport in the country.

“It works for the game because it can inspire the next generation and give something back to the Warriors after being on the road for three years,” he said.

You are dealing with a country that provides a large percentage of the NRL’s talent pool.

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