Warriors to play three games at Eden Park
Wednesday 2 Oct 2013 11:26 a.m.
The Warriors will play three home games at Auckland's Eden Park in 2014 (photosport)
The Warriors will play three home games at Auckland's Eden Park in 2014 and will return for another match in Wellington as they seek bigger crowds.
The NRL season draw is yet to be released but the Warriors have committed to extra games at Eden Park, New Zealand's biggest stadium, which has hosted their opening home match for each of the last three seasons.
Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah says the Warriors would struggle to reach the Australian Rugby League Commission's objective for all clubs to increase average home attendances to 20,000 if they didn't take games beyond 23,700-seat Mt Smart Stadium, which will host eight of their 12 home games.
The three crowds at Eden Park in 2010, 2011 and 2012 fill the top three spots for the biggest home attendances in the club's history while last year's crowd in Wellington ranks fifth. All attracted crowds in excess of 30,000.
"The move to play more games away from Mount Smart Stadium has become a commercial necessity for us," Scurrah said.
"If we're committed to being more successful an absolute requirement is increasing our revenues and a critical way of achieving that is through growing our crowds."
Scurrah said the four games away from Mt Smart Stadium are likely to take place early in the season, to take advantage of better weather.
It would also capitalise on momentum created by hosting the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park in mid-February.
This year's match between the Warriors and Bulldogs in Wellington was the first time the club had staged a home game outside Auckland.
The 2014 NRL draw will again feature fixed times, dates and venues for the first 20 rounds of the season as it did for the first time this year.