NRL Schedule leaves no room for Panthers match in Christchurch
The organisers of this year’s NRL clash between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors are deeply disappointed that the just released NRL schedule for 2017 did not work out to get the Panthers back to Christchurch for 2017.
“The television schedule only left us options that did not work for the local organising team or for the Panthers, so we are looking at the options for the following years,” said event organiser Justin Wallace.
“We are extremely disappointed for rugby league fans in the South Island and for all the wonderful organisations, like the Christchurch Council and Christchurch Airport and other sponsors who have been very supportive to get these matches to Christchurch, that we cannot deliver the event this year.”
Mr Wallace said this year’s match at a sold-out AMI Stadium was an incredible success and had expected to take the event to another level.
“We already had a number of new activities in the pipeline in the build-up and on match day, and many corporate partners who were keen to come on board, so it is a bitter pill to swallow for all of us when we realised that Christchurch will be sitting out the coming season.”
Mr Wallace reiterated that this year’s match showed the enormous appetite for top level rugby league and that the NRL and they were keen to bring more matches to Christchurch.
“As soon as it became clear that we would not be able to secure the appropriate dates for a match in Christchurch this year, we started the conversation with the NRL about opportunities in 2018.”
Richard Attwood Head of the Events for the Christchurch City Council said Christchurch was looking forward to hosting another successful NRL match and we are disappointed for the organisers, however we hope that fans will get behind the Rugby League World Cup here in Christchurch in November 2017.