Due to Wednesday’s announcement from the government that Wellington has moved into COVID-19 Alert Level 2 until 11:59pm on Sunday night, the Sal’s NBL announces the following changes to Round 9 games:
Friday night’s game between the Mike Pero Nelson Giants and the Wellington Saints will now be played on Wednesday June 30th at 6:30pm at the same venue (Trafalgar Centre, Nelson). This follows the governments recommendation that travellers who leave Wellington “take the restrictions with them”.
Sunday afternoon’s game between the Wellington Saints and the Hawke’s Bay Taylor Hawks will now be played without fans at Wellington’s TSB Arena on the same date and at the same time as originally planned (Sunday June 27th, 5pm). This adheres to the COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restriction on gatherings of over 100 people.
General Manager of the Sal’s NBL Justin Nelson was well prepared for this scenario arising some time during the season, saying “Similar to last year’s Showdown, which was this week recognised by Sport NZ, the Sal’s NBL always puts the health and safety of our players, coaches, officials, staff and fans first.”
“In light of the current rise in alert level in Wellington, together with our teams, we have acted swiftly to ensure every measure is taken to look after our community.”
“In particular I want to thank the Saints, Giants and Hawks for responding quickly and working with us to find the best solutions to ensure we continue to conduct our business and entertain our fans.
“Sky Sport has also been instrumental in working with the League to ensure there is no disruption to our broadcast coverage.
“While we don’t want to play in a closed stadium, we have no choice but to do this on Sunday in Wellington when the Saints host the Hawks. No doubt this will be a very popular game on Sky Sport.
“With regards to the Nelson Giants game against the Wellington Saints, this will be moved to next Wednesday when we all hope to feel more comfortable with a team travelling out of Wellington.
“We thank everyone for their support and understanding.”
Round 9 of the Sal’s NBL gets underway Thursday at 7:30pm when the EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls take on the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams in Pukekohe. All Sal’s NBL games are live on Sky Sport.