NRL’s Storm v Bulldogs game gets tick of approval

Queensland Health has approved a new COVID Safe Venue Management Plan for the Melbourne Storm versus Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs match at Sunshine Coast Stadium this Saturday 8 August.

The previous 6000 capacity approved Site Specific COVID Safe Plan has been reduced to 4134 people – just over a third of the Stadium’s usual certified venue capacity of 12,000 people.

Sunshine Coast Council Manager Major Sport and Community Venues Grantley Switzer said stringent COVID Safe practices would continue to be enforced and new temporary seating would be introduced to two zones at the stadium.

“The eastern and southern hills will now have designated seating that consists of individual chairs with adequate social distancing and personal space between each group of ticketholders,” Mr Switzer said.

“The northern hill will not have designate seating however will have patronage numbers that represents one person per four square metres.

“Despite this significant reduction in crowd numbers, staff and security numbers will remain the same as last week and we have engaged additional Queensland Police Service (QPS) staff to attend on Saturday to enforce social distancing protocols.

“We appreciate the advice and support provided by Queensland Health, QPS, the NRL and Melbourne Storm and thank them for working quickly and in partnership with us to help deliver a safe outcome for footy fans this weekend.

“We also thank football fans for their patience and understanding, especially those who cannot attend.

“Rest assured, this will be a great event footy fans will thoroughly enjoy.”

Storm CEO Dave Donaghy, said: “Whilst we apologise to those who will be affected by these changes, the health and wellbeing of the Queensland community, the players and those at the game is most important during these unprecedented times.

“We thank the Stadium and Queensland Health for the way in which they have been able to work to find a solution that gives as many fans as possible the chance to watch our matches in a safe and enjoyable way.”

So far more than 1000 refunds have been issued to people who took up the offer of voluntary “opt-out” refunds, plus automatic refunds to those who purchased tickets last.

Sunshine Coast Stadium has sourced specifically designed chairs which are “hill-friendly”.

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