Rugby on a roll as fans swarm Australia venue



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Australia Queensland back to 100 percent Image: stadiums.qld.gov.au

Australia held the most-attended sporting event since the onset of COVID-19 menace – a rugby league fixture between Queensland and New South Wales on Thursday. Rugby league in Australia has accounted for most of this year’s biggest sporting attendances.

The State Of Origin fixture is arguably the biggest occasion on the rugby league calendar. Though coronavirus has decimated the live sporting events across the globe, the 2020 chapter proved to be like what was held in a pre-COVID world.

The annual Rugby League State of Origin series is one of Australia’s most popular sporting events. The name is also used in Australia for small sporting events which generally involve domestic representative teams.

Over 52,000 people were packed into the 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) for the hotly-anticipated match-up.

Queensland ran out eventual winners, toppling New South Wales by 20 points to 14.

The attendance of 52,000 was a little more than the 46,000 fans that had turned up last month for a rugby union match between New Zealand and Australia at Auckland’s Eden Park. New Zealand won 27-7, although the All Blacks (New Zealand national rugby union team) have stumbled as of late, losing to Argentina at the weekend.

Thirty seven thousand three hundred and three (37,303) were in attendance for the National Rugby League (NRL) (Australia’s top-level domestic men’s rugby league club competition) Grand Final in Sydney, while 36,212 watched the Blues’ game-two State Of Origin match in Sydney. In Aussie rules football, just under 30,000 people saw the Australian Football League (Australia’s pre-eminent and only fully professional men’s competition of Australian rules football) (AFL) Grand Final at the Gabba – a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia.
 

Full house

Earlier, the Australian State of Queensland has allowed almost full house in venues and has rolled back restrictions from November 17th, 2020.

The Australian State will also allow 1,500 patrons at outdoor shows, as capacity and social distancing regulations have been relaxed, permitting a near-full return to packed arenas.

From November 17th, seated and ticketed indoor events like concerts have been allowed to increase patron numbers from 50 percent to 100 percent and social distancing have been permitted to increase to one person per two square meters.

Events held al fresco can be graced by 1,500 people with a COVID Safe Event Checklist, while open-air arenas can increase seated capacity from 75 percent to 100 percent with a COVID Safe Plan in place. Outdoor dancing has been allowed.

“Queenslanders have worked hard to stop the spread of the virus, which means we can enjoy more of our Queensland way of life and keep [the State’s] economic recovery plan moving forward,” averred Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The news comes as other States relax regulations, including New South Wales (NSW) which is gearing up to host Australia’s first arena shows since the concert business shut shop in March as coronavirus bleeds the economy worldwide.

The Greatest Southern Nights shows will play to more than 12,000 music aficionados at Qudos Bank Arena (in Sydney, Australia) and attendance has been pegged at 21,000 over two nights in a seated, ‘COVID-safe’ setting.

Great Southern Nights is a new event to kickstart the recovery of the live music industry – featuring 1,000 COVID-safe gigs across Sydney and Regional NSW -throughout November 2020 (Australian Music Month).

The NSW Government is also set to permit 5,000-capacity country fairs from January 2021, the second-largest attendance permitted at outdoor events since social distancing restrictions were imposed. The Australian Festival Association is now calling for the new capacity increase to be replicated in other types of events too.

The Australian Festival Association (AFA) was formed in 2018 to represent the common interests and aspirations of the Australian festival industry. The AFA is committed to helping members deliver safe and well-run festivals around Australia, and establishing world leading operating standards for the industry.

Live music has also returned partially to regional Victoria, albeit under stringent COVID-19 restrictions.

Indoor venues continue to remain closed but the State is allowing open-air live music in outdoor spaces. However, the same comes with a lot of riders.

Gig-goers must remain seated and are limited to tables of 10, which must be at least 1.5 meters apart from any other table. Wearing of masks has been made compulsory for band members, singers excluded, and must stand at least two meters apart from each other and five meters away from the audience.
 

Fingers crossed

Authorities in Britain are keeping their fingers crossed as to the return of supporters to stands sometime in December.

Football’s bigwigs have held promising talks with the Government around the topic of allowing fans back into the stadia fold. This is expected to fall in line with the Government’s tier system.

Football clubs have experienced financial turmoil since COVID-19 hit Britain and is now again back in UK with full force, with English Football League (EFL) clubs on the receiving end of a bailout to prevent them from liquidation.

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden held a recent virtual summit with leaders from the Football Association (FA), Premier League, EFL and anti-racism charity ‘Kick It Out’ as regards a safe time-frame for letting in spectators back into venues.

The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football.

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