The Sydney Cricket Ground will be slashed to 25 per cent capacity for the upcoming Sydney Test, with a cap of 9,500 fans allowed through the gates each day.
Venues NSW and The SCG Trust rang in the changes on Monday, less than three days out from Australia’s highly-anticipated clash with India, following advice from the NSW government.
Organisers were hoping that the SCG, which has a 38,000 person capacity, would operate at about 50 per cent for the series’ third Test starting on Thursday.
However the recent COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches has caused a rethink.
Australia’s Steve Smith leaves the team’s hotel in Melbourne as the Australian and Indian cricket teams relocate to Sydney for the third Test. Photo: William West/AFP.Source:AFP
Anyone who has pre-purchased tickets will receive a full refund and the event will be re-ticketed on Monday afternoon.
People who had already bought tickets will be given priority to repurchase tickets before the event goes on sale to the general public at 12pm on Tuesday.
“I think the capacity of 25 per cent is where we’re starting,” Venues NSW CEO Kerrie Mather said.
“Our plan is scalable, so if there was the opportunity in what is a very fluid environment, and an improving situation, to host more, we could certainly host more.”
Venues NSW CEO Kerrie Mather announced that the SCG would work at 25 per cent capacity for the Sydney Test. Picture: Gregg Porteous.Source:Supplied
Cricket Australia interim chief executive Nick Hockley said that the decision was made as a result of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the governing body was putting the restrictions in place to protect the players, staff, officials and fans.
Ms Mather encouraged any fans attending to follow health guidelines including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and to stay away and get tested if they have any flu-like symptoms.
“When people are actually moving around the venue, they will be strongly encouraged to wear masks, and then sit down once they’ve finished their purchase,” Ms Mather said.
“We would encourage people if it does rain, to actually bring ponchos. But otherwise, with the sort of crowd that we’re talking to, there will be plenty of space.”
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