We are disappointed to announce that both Rugby Championship matches, planned for this year in Wellington, will no longer take place at Sky Stadium.
Wellington offered a number of different options to host the second All Blacks v Australia match, originally scheduled for Saturday 28th August, however New Zealand Rugby has decided that the only date that worked for the game was Saturday 14th August. The Stadium has a long-held prior booking for Beervana on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th with 16,000 patrons expected to attend, of which nearly half will travel to Wellington from outside the region, as will many of the brewers taking part.
We are very grateful to the team at Beervana who had committed to work through the night to make the Stadium available to host the test match on Sunday if that opportunity had presented itself.
Furthermore with the closure of the Trans-Tasman bubble for a period of eight weeks, the Argentina v All Blacks match scheduled for September 18th will now take place in Australia.
NZR CEO Mark Robinson said, "it is particularly disappointing we will not be able to play in Wellington this season and we share the disappointment of fans, the venue and the city, but at short notice following the closure of the travel bubble with Australia it just proved too difficult.
"It's also disappointing not to be able to host Argentina, but the eight-week pause to the trans-Tasman travel bubble meant it just wasn’t possible to get the team into the country.
“Sky Stadium, Wellington Rugby and WellingtonNZ did everything they could to try and keep the Test in Wellington, but ultimately we needed to play on Saturday 14 August and we had to make the difficult decision to shift the match to Auckland."
The All Blacks would be back at Sky Stadium in 2022, Robinson said.
We know this will come as very disappointing news and we can assure everyone that we explored every possible avenue to make these matches happen.
Fans who have purchased tickets and car parking for either of the affected Tests will receive a full refund and should expect to be contacted by Ticketek in due course.
Read the full press release from New Zealand Rugby here.