Blues sell out Eden Park for rugby's return

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The Blues announced on Saturday that they had sold 43,000 tickets – the capacity for the crowd in Auckland – after New Zealand lifted coronavirus restrictions this week.

Restrictions on mass gathering and social-distancing measures ended from midnight last Monday, with no limit on crowd numbers at stadiums.

The 10-week domestic version of Super Rugby, which is taking place in lieu of the proper competition that was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, began when the Highlanders faced the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday.

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said: "It was only a few weeks ago that we were planning for a competition behind closed doors. When we got the news during the week that fans could come, we always wanted to do our part in terms of ticket pricing because we know that many of our fans have been doing it hard.

"I want to recognise the mammoth job from everyone involved in being able to turn an event of this size around in less than a week.

"This will be a special occasion that everyone will remember and a celebration of what New Zealand has achieved as a nation to get to this stage.

"The key now is for everyone to understand that this is a huge crowd, so please leave plenty of time to get to and from the stadium because we be undertaking contact tracing. Please check the AT site for your travel information and remember to be patient."