"We'll be back." That was the promise from Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni after Saturday night's 25-20 Super Rugby win against the Bulls in Napier, which attracted 9500 fans to McLean Park.
"We won and everyone went home happy. We'll definitely be keen to sit down with Hawke's Bay Rugby Union officials and Napier City Council staff in the near future to discuss the possibility of another game here," Mr Te Puni said.
Hawke's Bay Rugby Union chief executive officer Mike Bishop described the match as "a great success all round".
"The weather held off and it was a terrific occasion."
Mr Bishop said the turnout was a credit to the Hawke's Bay catchment area and better than what the Hurricanes had at their two Westpac Stadium games in the capital to date this season where there is a bigger population.
"It was a good warm-up to a big year of ITM Cup and All Black rugby at the park," he added referring to the fact the All Blacks will play Argentina in a Napier-hosted test on September 6.
Police and security staff were impressed with the behaviour of spectators on Saturday night and no incidents were reported.
The sole Magpie to start for the Hurricanes, All Black prop Ben Franks, was forced from the field with a groin injury in the 30th minute. Magpies hooker Ash Dixon replaced All Black rake Dane Coles in the 61st minute and said it was "an awesome experience".
"The crowd really geed the boys up with their vocal contribution. We're rapt after being thrashed 48-14 by the Bulls last year."
Like Hurricanes head coach Mark Hammett, the hooker said the Canes bye this week had come at the right time.
"We've had a compact start to the season and a few niggles are beginning to creep in. After the bye we'll be close to full strength again."