NSW lifts crowd restrictions in big boost for Cricket and A-League
The NSW government has announced stadiums will be able to be filled to 100% of their capacity from Monday, joining Queensland in having no restrictions.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday that the existing 50% limits will be removed, paving the way for a full house of up to 48,000 at the final T20 International between Australia and India on Tuesday.
The final match of the limited-overs series at the Sydney Cricket Ground is already sold-out for the half-capacity, with the additional tickets to go on sale in the coming days. It also means the Third Test between Australia and India starting January 7 will be able to be played in front of a full house.
The BBL starts on December 12, and while the early games will be played in Tasmania and Canberra, Sydney will host its first game on January 13 at the Showgrounds. Venues were recently announced for the remainder of the BBL season, with matches to be played around the country, including Melbourne and Perth. View the schedule.
The A-League season commences on December 27, with an all-Sydney derby between the Western Sydney Wanderers and new side Macarthur FC, with 30,000 fans now able to fill Bankwest Stadium.
Games will also be played at ANZ Stadium and Central Coast Stadium in the opening round, while Brisbane Roar open their season at their new home ground, Dolphin Stadium, which will also be able to be filled to capacity.
It’s a huge boost for the A-League which was forced to play the closing rounds of the season in empty stadiums, while the Grand Final attendance was limited to just 7051.
NSW is home to five A-League teams with three Sydney teams, Central Coast and Newcastle, while the Wellington Phoenix will base themselves in Wollongong for the upcoming season, playing home games at WIN Stadium.
The Queensland government previously lifted their stadium capacity restrictions on November 17, which allowed a crowd of 49,155 to attend Suncorp Stadium for the State of Origin decider. That remains a world-record crowd since the start of Coronavirus.
Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT remain at 50% of capacity, while the NT has no cap. Victoria now allows crowds of up to 25% of capacity, with the Boxing Day Test on December 26 to be the first major event with a crowd in attendance. While 25,000 fans per day are set to file into the MCG, authorities are hoping that crowd cap can be increased to allow more spectators in.
The NBL has released its fixture for the opening five rounds of the season, having delayed the start to ensure games can be played in front of crowds. The season commences on January 10 in Melbourne.