11 April 17: Hamilton moves up a gear as Lions roar near

Hamilton’s preparation for the 2017 DHL New Zealand Lions Series have moved up a gear ahead of the Chiefs’ historic clash against the British & Irish Lions in June.

The Hamilton-based Super Rugby team faces the touring Lions on 20 June at FMG Stadium Waikato, with a large influx of visiting British and Irish rugby fans expected to descend on the city.

Chad Hooker, Hamilton City Council’s Director of Major Events, today announced a range of initiatives to enhance the city’s status as a host city for the Lions visit – the combined team’s first since 2005.

The grassed oval area at Claudelands will be used as an additional “spill over” temporary campervan park for the city’s involvement in the series.
“We’re anticipating a convoy of British, Irish and kiwi campervan tourists following the matches around the country,” Mr Hooker says. “With Hamilton’s existing camping grounds already fully booked for the night of the Chiefs game, we’ll be operating a temporary campervan park on the field adjacent to Claudelands to cater for the influx.”

The Claudelands campervan park will only be available to fully self-contained campervans and bookings will be taken through the Hamilton i-SITE, which will also has a pop-up stand at Claudelands. Although commercial accommodation in the city remains available for the night of the match, it is expected to fill up quickly.

Visiting fans will also be able to find their way into the central city via a marked walking route from Claudelands. The route has been designed to take pedestrians below River Road and avoid having to cross one of the city’s busiest streets.

Other initiatives rolling out as part of DHL NZ Lions Series include the creation of www.hamiltonhostcity.co.nz, a new event and visitor-focussed website which will feature a range of information on Hamilton’s involvement in the event. The site, which is live today, includes traffic information, details on the Major Events Management Act and what it means for local business, as well as links to other relevant online channels for the city and region. The site acts as a template and will be rebranded for other major events the city hosts in future.

Mr Hooker says the Council’s Major Events Team is also engaging with Hamilton’s schools to create themed artworks to mark a walking route from Claudelands to the central city, and on to FMG Stadium Waikato.

More announcements on additional activities and initiatives connected to the DHL NZ Lions Series are expected over coming weeks, Mr Hooker added