NRL Weighing Request To Implement EPL-Style Separate Seating At Stadiums
An EPL-style "policy of separating rival fans at ANZ Stadium" is being hailed by National Rugby League side Parramatta and the league, which will "seriously consider making an Eels-Tigers clash a permanent Easter Monday fixture," according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Parramatta and Wests Tigers played in front of 50,668 fans at ANZ Stadium on Monday, with Wests winning 21-18. The request has "a strong chance of being given the green light by the NRL." NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said, "We will always look favorably on building marquee matches into the schedule and particularly where we can work with clubs who support the strategies and that was evidenced [on Monday] by both clubs and their supporter bases being really heavily engaged in the pre-promotion of that game." The atmosphere at ANZ was "assisted by efforts to separate fans from both teams, a policy first implemented in a club game there when 74,549 Eels and Bulldogs fans split the arena right down the middle" for a semifinal in '09. The strategy is "not being forced on fans, they can choose to sit in any section of the venue" (SMH, 4/22).