NRL 3 years ago

Warriors staunch over staying at Mt. Smart

  • Warriors staunch over staying at Mt. Smart

The Stones belted out "You can't always get what you want...And if we don't, we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse".

NZ Warriors fans and their passionate club chairman Bill Wavish have most definitely blown their collective fuses as the Auckland Council and their RFA (Regional Facilities Auckland) division seem intent on revoking the club's lease on Mount Smart Stadium at the end of 2018.

Should this come to pass, the rather grim scenario for the team involves playing the majority of their home matches at the Rugby Union backwater of Albany, in its soulless and often half-empty North Harbour Stadium.

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In fact, Wavish is so put out over this prospect that it is mentioned via the club's Facebook page that he would sooner base the club in Dunedin in the South Island than re-locate the thirty kilometres up State Highway One to Albany.

Following this comes contact details of Auckland ward and local board councillors for irate supporters to register their protests with at being most likely forced away from their Penrose base, next to blue-collar Onehunga.

Contacting councillors may be ultimately futile however, as a good friend who was until last year high up in the meet-night running of the Auckland speedway at Western Springs, is of the opinion that chief promoter Bill Buckley is the major catalyst in the Warriors probable eviction.

Buckley runs Western Springs promotions and due to neighbourhood noise constraints is restricted by city by-laws to only being able to hold just twelve meetings per year at the spiritual home of speedway in New Zealand. Shifting his operation to Mount Smart would almost certainly allow him his desired twenty-plus meets each season.

Speedway diehards are known to be hopping mad over such a move though. The Springs is their Valhalla. It wouldn't be a stretch to say they would be even more apoplectic than Warriors fans if Stadium musical chairs became a cold reality.

While it may be a long shot, the best chance for forcing a U-turn in the RFA's plan might just be for the two sets of disenfranchised supporters to form a united group in their opposition to a looming decision which they obviously can't abide.

People power is never to be under-estimated and when the old adage 'There's no place like home' gets added to the mix, it makes for a pretty lethal cocktail to serve up to the decision makers.

-Paul Montague.


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