Melbourne Storm enforce social distancing at Sunshine Coast game

Stringent COVID-safe measures will continue to be enforced at the Melbourne Storm’s Sunshine Coast home games after temporary seating appeased social distancing fears.

It paid off, with the Storm clinching a 41-10 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

One week after fans crowded together on the council-owned stadium’s eastern hill, the capacity was further cut to just 4134, down from previous caps of 6000 and just over a third of the stadium’s usual capacity of 12,000.

Temporary seating specifically designed for hills and zoning was in place on the hill at Saturday’s match against the Bulldogs, after a week-long collaboration between council, police and health authorities.

More than 1000 tickets were refunded in the days prior to the match, to ensure social distancing and reduced capacity could be enforced.

The socially distanced crowd on the Eastern Hill enjoying the NRL clash between Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs at Sunshine Coast Stadium.Source:News Regional Media

Sunshine Coast Council’s manager of sport and community venues Grantley Switzer said the practices would continue to be enforced.

“The eastern and southern hills will now have designated seating that consists of individual chairs with adequate social distancing and personal space between each group of ticket holders,” Mr Switzer said.

“The northern hill will not have designated seating however will have patronage numbers that represents one person per four square metres.

The crowd on the hill on August 2 for the Storm v Knights match. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“Despite this significant reduction in crowd numbers, staff and security numbers will remain the same as last week and we have engaged additional Queensland Police Service (QPS) staff to attend on Saturday to enforce social distancing protocols.

“We appreciate the advice and support provided by Queensland Health, Queensland Police Service, the NRL and Melbourne Storm and thank them for working quickly and in partnership with us to help deliver a safe outcome for footy fans this weekend.

“We also thank football fans for their patience and understanding.”

Seating was placed on the Sunshine Coast Stadium hill to ensure social distancing.Source:News Regional Media

Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said he apologised to fans who weren’t able to attend the event, but reinforced the health and safety of Queenslanders being of the utmost importance.

“We thank the stadium and Queensland Health for the way in which they have been able to work to find a solution that gives as many fans as possible the chance to watch our matches in a safe and enjoyable way,” he said.

More than 1000 refunds were issued to people who took up voluntary ‘opt-out’ refunds, plus those who purchased tickets last.

Originally published asFooty crowd social distance solution

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