Renovation at the Apia Park stadium in preparation for the historic test
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: MONDAY 23 MARCH 2015: The Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) has moved to address possible duplication and overselling of tickets for the July New Zealand All Blacks and Manu Samoa test at the Apia Park.
In a press conference today, SRU’s interim Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i said this was one of the major concerns in the SRU’s deliberation and preparations for the game.
“We have printed the tickets with barcode numbers so they could not be duplicated,” said Faleomavaega.
He said this has been a problem in some past international games and to avoid this from happening again, SRU has opted to put barcodes on the tickets.
The other concern was overselling the tickets.
“We are looking at the capacity of the park and we do not want to oversell the tickets,” said Faleomavaega.
The Apia Park’s seating capacity is 12,000 but they hope to add more seats on the open ground to accommodate more people.
The centre stand hosts 700 people and the tickets for this stand, which is $500 are almost sold out.
“The New Zealand Rugby Union has already taken 200 tickets for the central stand,” said Faleomavaega.
The central stand is for the sponsors of the game and both Samoa and New Zealand have put aside this stand as an acknowledgement for the sponsors.
Seats for the two side stands on the North and South of the centre stand are sold at $300 with the side stands opposite the grandstand, at $100.
The open ground is $40.00.
Faleomavaega said SRU is working hard to ensure that nothing goes wrong with the game this is the first game that we have to launch the tickets.
He also said that according to their statistics, there is a large number of people coming from overseas to watch the historic test.
Because the test will be at 3.00 in the afternoon, it is impossible to have a screen in front of the government building.
“The test will be screened live and we are working to have a screen inside the markets at Savai’i for the Savai’i people,” said Faleomavaega.
The tickets will officially go on sale on the 06 April 2015 and only Blue Sky will be selling the tickets.
Blue Sky Samoa has put in $200,000 to sponsor the game and so as Samoa International Finance Authority (SIFA) that has put in $1million.
Manu Samoa’s preparations
Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham and his selection team are traveling Europe at the moment talking with Samoan players.
The Europe rugby season will be over soon and the boys will be free, hence the coach’s visit, said Faleomavaega.
“The coach is recruiting whoever is available for the game in July,” said Faleomavaega.
The Samoan players in New Zealand will camp for training but the selection will be done here in Samoa.
The selected players will be camp for only three weeks before the selection of the final squad.