TAMWORTH locals will be given an exclusive chance to see the New Zealand Warriors battle the Newcastle Knights on August 29.
The clash, which was announced on Monday, marks the first time the club has returned to Scully Park since quarantining in Tamworth for two weeks in May and will only be open to New England-North West residents
As a sign of thanks for hosting the club in a quarantine period, which allowed them to compete in the NRL season, the Warriors opted to move their Round 16 fixture from Sunshine Coast Stadium to Tamworth.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the crowd would be restricted to locals to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
"My understanding is that tickets will be limited to postcode only, so no Sydney or Hunter Valley visitors will be permitted into the game," Mr Anderson said.
"It will be New England-North West residents only at this point in time.
"For me, it is about the safety and welfare of our communities first and foremost and while we would normally be encouraging footy fans from across the state to come along, this game will be restricted to local residents."
Wests League Club chief executive officer Rod Laing said the ground's capacity would be restricted to 3000 spectators for social distancing reasons.
"The NRL toured the facility late last week with their bio-security experts to ensure all the NRL's bio-security measures could be adopted here in Tamworth," Mr Laing said.
"The capacity will be around 3000, which is around 25 per cent of the ground's usual capacity.
"There will be a lot of guidelines in place on game day, such as spectators needing to be seated at all times and restricted to certain zones.
"They will also not be able to mingle between zones and all of the bar and food services will be cashless."
Mr Laing said Tamworth locals who dug deep to support the Warriors would have first crack at securing tickets to the game.
"We have asked that the Warriors' members have first bite of the cherry," he said.
"There was over 1000 members sign up locally, so we thought it would be great to reward them and to help limit the amount of people from outside the region coming to the game.
"I think this will make us the only regional centre in NSW to host a game this season, which goes to show how highly regarded we are by the NRL."
Tickets will go on sale to Warriors members from 10am on Thursday, 10am on Friday for Wests members and 10am on Saturday to the general public.
Identification checks will be conducted at the gate on game day, to ensure all visitors are local.
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