|New Zealand Māori perform the haka|
The opportunity to see the best of the northern hemisphere take on the best in the world only comes round once every 12 years and the already nearly sold out tour will be followed by more than 20,000 visitors.
The Lions Tour is a highlight on rugby’s global calendar and New Zealand, well known for putting heart and soul into its national game, is a favourite destination for the “Red Army” – the loyal group of British & Irish Lions supporters.
The tour has been timed to maximise spectator interest in the midst of the New Zealand rugby season and visitors will find plenty of other diversions with a wide range of winter events and activities to attract them from region to region.
The 2005 series brought more than 20,000 Lions supporters, contributing an estimated NZ$135.2m into the New Zealand economy and New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew says they are confident the 2017 series will exceed those figures.
He says the series in New Zealand will be a huge occasion featuring the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, providing almost six weeks of incredible rugby.
The series takes in seven of New Zealand’s most popular and geographically diverse regions from sub-tropical Northland in the top of the North Island to Otago in the depths of the South Island.
Host regions are preparing for the influx of visitors with additional infrastructure, plans for fan zones, fan trails and other match-related experiences for fans – as well as a variety of other local events and celebrations to coincide with the rugby action.
A new short term campervan park at Auckland’s Ellerslie Racecourse has just been given the green light, opening up some additional accommodation options in time for the DHL New Zealand Lions series.
Auckland Racing Club will run a pop-up campervan park in the Ellerslie Racecourse infield, with 350 non-powered sites for self-contained campervans during the Lions series. The racecourse, in a leafy central city suburb, is close to major routes and just a couple of suburbs away from Eden Park.
About the NZ Lions 2017 Series
A Lions tour only happens every 12 years and is a highlight on the global rugby calendar as well as a firm favourite with rugby-mad Kiwis.
New Zealand Rugby and The British & Irish Lions have agreed a programme of 10 matches during their 2017 series, kicking off in Whangarei, in the far north, on 3 June and finishing in Auckland on 8 July.
Three tests will be played against the All Blacks - two in Auckland at Eden Park on 24 June and 8 July respectively and the third in the capital city of Wellington on 1 July.
New Zealand Rugby will confirm full details of the ticket pricing and process for purchasing tickets in late June. Some 350,000 seats will be available with many of these tickets going on public sale in October.