Apex Oval will have a capacity of 11,300 for the May 23 National Rugby League match between South Sydney and Penrith, with Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders confirming the figure had received approval from the NSW Government.
Dubbo Regional Council staff have been working on a COVID safety plan to allow as many people as possible to be part of the history-making match, which will be the first NRL competition game to be played in the city.
Mr Saunders said an exemption has been provided to increase crowd capacity at the ground, allowing further tickets to now be released, with demand still high from Dubbo and the wider western region.
“It’s great that we have been able to reach a figure that allows us to have as many people as possible at Apex Oval for the game, but also do it in a COVID safe way,” said Mr Saunders, who is also chair of the NRL Regional taskforce.
“After receiving the initial plan from council, I have been working with the Deputy Premier, Sports Minister and Health Minister to ensure we could achieve an outcome that works well for everyone.
“Tickets have been released in tranches while we’ve worked on determining the capacity of the complex, and now we have that figure, a final batch of tickets can now go on sale, which is great news for NRL fans,” he said.
Acting Mayor of Dubbo Regional Council Stephen Lawrence said staff had been busily preparing Apex Oval in the lead-up to the game, with additional grass planting and maintenance, and special mowing techniques adopted to ensure the ground is at the highest possible standard for the NRL.
“Following the launch of DRC’s Festival of Footy, and now an exemption for additional crowds at Apex Oval, you can certainly feel the excitement among the community,” Cr Lawrence said.
“I would like to thank our local member Dugald Saunders for his hard work in bringing this event to the Dubbo region.
“I know so many people were disappointed they missed out on tickets last time, so this final release is their last chance to grab a ticket to the game, to get in on the action and cheer on either the Rabbitohs or Panthers.
South Sydney Rabbitohs chief executive Blake Solly said he is excited at the prospect of a sell-out crowd for the match.
“We’re aware there has been an enormous amount of interest in this match, and we’re very excited to be coming to Dubbo to play,” he said.
“I’d like to thank the NSW Government and Dubbo Regional Council for ensuring the game will be seen by as many people as possible.”