Eden Park 'stacks up' for Warriors' big games

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 08:46 05/03/2012
Warriors Eden Park
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CROWD PLEASER: More than 37,500 attended the NRL season opener for the Warriors at Eden Park.

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The Warriors may not have been able to 'get even at Eden' but the home of rugby union in Auckland has passed yet another cross-code test; potentially paving the way for further league matches at the venue in the future.

More than 37,500 attended yesterday's NRL season opener for the Warriors, which they lost 26-20 to reigning premiers the Sea Eagles.

The figure is 1000 less than the crowd Eden Park hosted for last year's NRL opener against the Eels, though that crowd included 7000 promotional ticket holders.

The ground will also play host to this year's Anzac test on April 20, its first test since the 2010 Four Nations game against Australia.

And while Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said there were no immediate plans to play increased games there this season, he admitted the ground's capacity could not be ignored "going forward."

"We've seen enough, and with the Kiwis coming here later in the year, to say we'd love to come back, and we'll think about next year," he told Fairfax Media.

"It's a great venue and when you've got a demand for that many people to come, while I think it's doubtful they'd want to come 12 times a year, I think Eden Park has to be in the mix going forward. Just how we get it in the mix, we'll see."

Scurrah hinted that Eden Park may potentially host an NRL finals match later this year, if the Warriors were at the right end of the table come season end.

"I know the NRL has signalled a desire to take finals to bigger venues whether it's here or in Australia," he said. "The venue stacks up pretty well from that point of view."

The Warriors, who play the Eels in Sydney next Monday, return to their traditional home ground, Mt Smart Stadium, to host the Bulldogs on March 18.

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