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Crowds back at the footy - Titans kick off with 2000 through gate

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Crowds of up to 2000 fans will be allowed entry to watch football in stadiums in Queensland from this weekend, with the Gold Coast Titans the first Queensland team to have fans back cheering their support.

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Fans will be able to watch the Titans take on St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium from 3:00pm on Saturday afternoon in a trial move Titans CEO Steve Mitchell has described as a “wonderful leap forward” ahead of larger crowds being returned.

In the AFL, the Brisbane Lions will face off against the West Coast Eagles in front of up to 2000 fans at the Gabba from 7:40pm.
The Gold Coast Suns will take on Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium Coast Sunday afternoon.

Suns CEO Mark Evans said the return of fans was a great result and was confident crowd numbers would safely increase over the coming weeks.

“Obviously we wish all our members could be there cheering on their team but a crowd of up to 2000 is a great start and we can’t wait to see Suns people back at our games from this weekend,” Evans said.

“Whether you’re able to come along to Metricon Stadium this Sunday or cheer from home, your support means so much to us.”
Health Minister Steven Miles said the decision followed the football codes submitting plans to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
“Some of the codes have requested this number [2,000] as a trial. That number might not be reached but it is an acknowledgement that the fans and the codes have done their part,” he said.

“We all want to get back to normal, that is the goal of our unite and recover plan.

“I’m proud the AFL and the NRL were able to return to play in Queensland stadiums.

“And today we add the missing ingredient, the fans.”

The trial number of fans will include a potential scaling up of crowd numbers at Queensland stadiums.

The Queensland NRL derby between the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on June 27 has been earmarked as a clash to bring back greater crowd numbers.

The decision welcoming fans back to Queensland stadiums follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday allowing stadiums with a capacity of fewer than 40,000 to offer seated ticketing at 25 per cent capacity, or maximum 10,000 fans, from July 1.

Suncorp Stadium holds a capacity crowd of 52,500. Under the restrictions, the maximum crowd size at Suncorp would still be capped at 10,000.

Mitchell said the milestone decision on the return of crowds was great news for sports fans across Queensland.

“This is obviously great news for the Titans and the NRL, but for fans of sports across Queensland,” Mitchell said.

“This is a great reward for Titans fans who have been unable to get along to support their team at games, and obviously a big boost for our playing group as well to be able to run onto the field and see and hear the support they have from the Titans Legion.

“This is a wonderful leap forward, but we are not yet at the ultimate goal of a return to full crowds at sporting events. We will continue to be guided by the Government and the NRL as we all work towards that goal.”

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for journalism and ideas

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