8 Nov 2010

Eden Park board may tighten rules on alcohol sales

8:30 am on 8 November 2010

The Eden Park Trust Board says it will look at tightening up rules surrounding the sale of alcohol at the stadium ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Police and the board are to discuss ugly crowd behaviour and traffic problems which marred a rugby league test between Australia and New Zealand at the weekend.

Eden Park is to host several matches during the Rugby World Cup, including the opening game on 9 September between the All Blacks and Tonga, the semifinals and the final on 23 October.

Fans have spoken of their embarrassment at drunken behaviour during Saturday's match, considered a test-run for the ground and transport services ahead of the rugby tournament.

During the match, the crowd booed during the Australian national anthem and bottles were thrown on the pitch. One fan said there was not enough security at the Auckland stadium, while another said fights were breaking out.

Police arrested six people at the test, which Australia won 34-20.

Eden Park Trust Board chief executive David Kennedy told Morning Report that bottle-throwing and booing throughout the Australian anthem was unacceptable.

Mr Kennedy says the board will look into restricting the amount of time they sell alcohol for and cracking down on those who show up drunk before the game.

Residents living near Eden Park say traffic management was a shambles, with barriers where they were not supposed to be and staff directing people the wrong way.

Police say there are clearly some factors that require closer scrutiny.

Sport and Recreation New Zealand says the crowd's behaviour at the league test is a bad look for the country and needs to be sorted out before it hosts the Rugby World Cup.