Warriors build mini golf course inside Mt Smart Stadium for Bulldogs game
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/111264594/-

2019-03-14 00:57:01

The Warriors will welcome seven former club captains and around 40 old boys for Saturday's game against the Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium.

For the season opener the club have pulled out all the stops to make it a big event as they celebrate their 25th anniversary, including a mini golf course inside the stadium.

Also, to mark the occasion there will be 1990s pricing for hot dogs, hot chips and pies, which will all be on sale for $3.50.

"We are passionate about packing out Mt Smart Stadium every game day," Warriors chief executive Cameron George said.

"As a club, we've set the goal of delivering wow to our fans every time they step foot into Mt Smart Stadium.

"We are confident they will experience that this weekend and we are hoping the pricing initiative on our food favourites will be a real treat for people when they get down here and get behind the boys.

"We need our fans here and loud and proud on Saturday."

As well as Stacey Jones and Stephen Kearney, the five former Warriors captains who'll be on the field for a guard of honour as the current players run onto the field will be John Simon, Monty Betham, Kevin Campion, Steve Price and Simon Mannering.

Other former players, who'll be there to celebrate the club's milestone season will be Joe Vagana, Mark Horo, Sione Faumuina, Nigel Vagana, Henry Fa'afili, Manu Vatuvei, Motu Tony, Tyran Smith, Francis Meli, Richie Blackmore and Lewis Brown.

The mini golf course is believed to be the first of its kind inside a sporting venue. It took two weeks to build off side by Mitre 10, before being installed inside Mt Smart Stadium.

Mitre 10 designed and built the mini golf course for fans of the club after the idea was first pitched to them earlier this year.

"We love a good challenge, so when the team came up with the idea of a mini golf course at Mt Smart we jumped on it.

"It's been a busy few weeks getting the design and build sorted, but we knew our builder Stan Scott was the right man for the job," general manager marketing Jules Lloyd-Jones said.

Further adding to the nostalgia this Saturday will be a performance at half-time of Lapi Mariner, the man dubbed "the voice of the Warriors", who will perform his 2001 club anthem "It's a Matter of Faith" with the Auckland Pacific Gospel Choir.

George is confident there will be a big crowd turning up for the game against the Bulldogs, which will feature ex-Warrior Kieran Foran in the halves.

But while George is optimistic, clubs on the other side of the Tasman are worried about the impact the so called Summer from Hell will have on attendances, with there being a number of serious off-field incidents involving players.

George doesn't feel this will have repercussions in New Zealand.

"Not to the extent that I'm sure some Sydney clubs would be concerned about it," George said.

"I have no doubt there will be some people that have been turned off our sport due to the conduct, but in reality, if we're winning footy games, we've got the greatest fan base in the sport.

"They turn up, they're loyal and they're proud.

"So I don't see it as being something that's going to deter people from buying tickets here at Mt Smart Stadium."

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