Saints welcomed in New Zealand

A delegation of representatives from the St Kilda Football Club, including captain Nick Riewoldt, attended the launch function in Wellington on Friday.

 St Kilda representatives were welcomed at a function in New Zealand on Friday morning

Senior representatives from the AFL and St Kilda joined Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillor John Morrison, as well as the Australian High Commissioner Michael Potts in celebrating the signing of the premier partnership agreement between the Wellington City Council.

“I see this match encouraging our Trans-Tasman cousins to deepen sporting and cultural ties, providing mutual tourism and business opportunities,” Wellington Councillor John Morrison said.

“This is more than a sports story.  This is an event that celebrates the Anzac spirit, and will provide a significant boost to Wellington’s tourism and economy.”

The three year deal will allow Wellington to host ‘home-away-from-home’ games each season, with the first game to be played between the St Kilda and the Sydney Swans at Westpac Stadium on April 25, 2013.

The Anazac Day clash will be broadcast into Australia following the traditional Collingwood v Essendon ANZAC Day match played in Melbourne.

The match will be played at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, a world-class venue which has played host to international rugby, soccer and cricket, and has a capacity of 34,000.

The Stadium’s playing surface is 152 metres goal to goal, which is slightly longer than the SCG, and is as wide as Etihad Stadium.

St Kilda CEO Michael Nettlefold said the Westpac Stadium is almost purpose built for AFL football.

“The New Zealand national team played the AIS team last year around the talent combine the AFL had there last year and the ground is almost purpose built,” Mr Nettlefold said.

“When you walk around the ground you would think that it was actually made for AFL Football.”

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