Professional sports clubs are to receive another four and half million dollars on top of the $5 million they have already received in government funding, to ease the financial pressure of Covid-19.
Super rugby franchises, ANZ netball sides, the Warriors and the Wellington Phoenix are all getting a share of the $4.6 million announced today.
The grants are the first release of money from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of the Budget last month.
Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin said the funding provides immediate financial relief to help clubs and competitions remain viable and get back up and running.
Netball New Zealand is the biggest recipient getting $2.2 million, New Zealand Rugby gets $1.25 million for its five super rugby franchises, the Phoenix $950,000 and the Warriors $200,000..
The funding comes on top of the government wage subsidy payouts the groups have already received - New Zealand rugby got $3.7 million under that scheme, Netball New Zealand $273,000, the Warriors $540,000 and the Phoenix $282,000.
"Professional sport franchises do not typically receive government investment, but in the Sport Recovery Package we have an opportunity to provide relief to other organisations who are also critical to our system," said Miskimmin.
"We know they have exhausted their financial options and that they make such a valuable contribution to our sector and national and regional economies," he said.
Administrators from the four sports all welcomed the package with Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome saying without it "professional football...could be lost indefinitely."