NRL: Warriors season-opener free to public in wake of Christchurch tragedy

The Warriors take on the Bulldogs at 5pm.
The Warriors take on the Bulldogs at 5pm. Photo credit: Getty

The Warriors have announced that all remaining tickets for Saturday's NRL season opener at Mt Smart Stadium will be available free of charge in the wake of the tragic Christchurch mass shootings.

The Auckland-based team kick-off their 2019 campaign against the Canterbury Bulldogs at 5pm.

CEO Cameron George said it was a chance for Kiwis to unite and stand as one.

"We are all devastated and in shock about what happened in Christchurch yesterday," said George.

"New Zealand is hurting. We are New Zealand’s team in the NRL and we want the public to join us this evening to acknowledge collectively those who have been affected by the heinous act in our country.

"Let's use tonight's match as an opportunity for the New Zealand public to stand shoulder to shoulder."

Before kick-off, the New Zealand national anthem will be played and both teams will observe a minute's silence. The Warriors players will wear black armbands.

George also confirmed there will be a "strong" police presence at the ground. Security measures will also be increased.

"We want the public to come and feel safe at Mt Smart Stadium," he added.

"We have been in constant dialogue with Auckland Stadiums and the New Zealand Police since yesterday and I can assure fans we take their safety seriously."

Fans are encouraged to head along early to help ease any potential congestion, and to remain vigilant while at the ground.

"Please also take note of our Text Assist service where you can report anything directly to our Venue Operations Centre – simply text the word ASSIST then your message to 260."