- Storm announces it will play a home game against St George Illawarra in Round 20 in Napier, New Zealand, on July 25.
- Tickets on sale to members from ticketek.co.nz from 7am (AEDT) on Friday, 27 February, and to the general public from 7am (AEDT) on Monday, 2 March.
- Storm members impacted by switch will be given the option of 1/12 refund of price of their membership or they can elect to make a donation back to the Club.
Melbourne Storm has today announced that it will play an NRL Premiership home game in Napier, New Zealand, this year.
Storm will host St George Illawarra in Round 20 (25 July) in the North Island city, with the game switching venues from AAMI Park to McLean Park, as part of a one-year partnership with Napier.
Storm CEO Mark Evans said: “I’d like to thank Napier City Council for providing Storm with the opportunity to bring an NRL game to their city, as well as to Storm members for their understanding of the reasons as to why we’ve made this decision.
“For the rugby league fans in Napier, we’ll be bringing the likes of Jesse Bromwich, Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor – all current New Zealand internationals – to town, so we hope their presence, plus that of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, will see those in the city get behind both our Club and the game.”
While in Napier, Storm players will engage with the local community, with public activities set to be confirmed closer to the game.
Tickets for the Napier clash – kick-off at 7.30pm (NZ time) – will be made available to Storm members from 7.00am (AEDT) on Friday, 27 February as part of an exclusive pre-sale period at ticketek.co.nz.
Tickets for the general public go on sale at 7.00am (AEDT) on Monday, 2 March.
The game will be broadcast into Australia on Fox Sports and in New Zealand on Sky Sports.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting this game at our iconic McLean Park ground,” said Napier Mayor Bill Dalton.
“We’ll be pulling out all stops to make sure fans of both teams have an excellent time in our city – whether it’s enjoying our internationally acclaimed Art Deco heritage or the numerous vineyards in our midst, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”
Storm this morning also announced that members who had already purchased a full-season membership for 2015 will have the option of being compensated for the late venue switch or they can make a donation back to the Club.
Members impacted by the switch can elect to receive a 1/12th refund should they wish.
Alternatively, members can donate the money back to the Club, with all funds going towards the long-term viability of Storm.
Evans said: “The Club has a clear mission which is to ensure the Storm remains in the city of Melbourne in perpetuity by creating a viable business that in the long run is owned by the fans and members.
“For our members, it’s regrettable that we needed to move a game away from Melbourne, but such a mission has its challenges and we’ve made this decision in the best long-term interests of the Club.
“Our football department has been involved in this process and I’d like to acknowledge them for their understanding of the reasons behind the venue switch.
“If members have concerns I encourage them to visit our membership page on our website for full details and I look forward to hearing from them in person at our member forum on March 5.”
Members that have any questions are encouraged to visit ticketek.co.nz before contacting the Club. The Club’s membership team can be reached at 1300 STORMRLC (1300 786 767).
Storm has won five of their past eight NRL matches in New Zealand.