The Warriors are set to take their National Rugby League show on the road, with co-owners Eric Watson and Owen Glenn revealing plans to play first-grade games in Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.
At a press conference in Auckland yesterday, the two owners unveiled a variety of investments for the club, including the creation of a high-performance academy and the redevelopment of Mt Smart Stadium to accommodate up to 60,000 spectators.
While the owners reiterated their hope to keep the club based at Mt Smart Stadium, games will regularly be spread around the country, further growing the club's national brand.
"We think it's a fantastic time after 17 years that we think about taking the game throughout New Zealand," Watson said.
"Let's take the New Zealand Warriors to New Zealand.
"Let's look at playing a few games outside of Auckland, perhaps in Wellington, perhaps in Dunedin, perhaps in Waikato and maybe Rotorua or Tauranga."
While the Warriors have played pre-season games outside Auckland in recent years, NRL fixtures in the country's other main centres have been hosted by Australian clubs who saw an opportunity to make more money in New Zealand.
In the past, the Bulldogs have hosted the Warriors in Wellington, the Roosters in Christchurch, while the Warriors played guest to the Sharks at Owen Delaney Park in Taupo last year.
The Warriors' long-term base seems destined for Mt Smart Stadium though, with both Glenn and Watson agreeing the stadium needs significant investment, by them and in partnership with Auckland Council.
The pair met Auckland Mayor Len Brown this week over the subject.
"Mt Smart is a fabulous location," Watson said. "It should, in my opinion, become the home of rugby league. It should be upgraded.
"It should have a stadium right next door, perhaps a smaller stadium that can house the competition that New Zealand Rugby League and Auckland Rugby League run.
"I honestly believe it can be self-funding," Watson said.
"Let's be honest, Mt Smart has had no investment for a long time.
"It's an embarrassment - it needs to be fixed.
"It's an investment in Auckland, and it's an investment for us as well."
Along with Warriors chairman Bill Wavish, Glenn and Watson also announced their intention to set up next year a top-level rugby league secondary schools competition.
The competition could make further inroads into rugby union's strongholds in Auckland.
Watson said the club's emphasis would become more centred on youth and bringing talented young players through into the first-grade ranks, rather than making superstar signings.
- © Fairfax NZ News