City braces for World Cup party

By Vaimoana Tapaleao, Mathew Dearnaley

Samoa fans such as Emma Huch, 9 (left), and Moanekah Va'ai 10, will be out in force or glued to their TV sets for their team's keenly awaited encounter with Fiji tomorrow.  Photo  / Christine Cornege
Samoa fans such as Emma Huch, 9 (left), and Moanekah Va'ai 10, will be out in force or glued to their TV sets for their team's keenly awaited encounter with Fiji tomorrow. Photo / Christine Cornege

Thousands of people are expected to be out in Auckland tonight as the All Blacks take on France at Eden Park.

The authorities insist they will be prepared, as they will be again tomorrow, when Fiji and Samoa clash.

Despite chaotic scenes that have surrounded games, especially All Blacks fixtures, officials assure fans that there will not be a repeat of previous problems.

Here's an outline of plans for the double-header:

Transport

More than 100 buses will run from central Auckland to Eden Park tonight and again for tomorrow's Fiji-Samoa match.

Auckland Transport is laying on the extra buses between Britomart and the stadium on both days to ensure trains are not overloaded.

These will be in addition to 45 buses running from outside the Civic Theatre in Queen St, and 31 rail replacement buses which French-owned rail operator Veolia will have on stand-by in case of any more disruptions to its trains.

Buses from Britomart, which will be free to match ticket-holders, will run for four hours before each game.

Free trains and buses from other locations, including the Civic, Takapuna, Albany, Newmarket and Manukau, will start three hours before kickoff.

A new shuttle service will run from Whangaparaoa to the Albany bus station at 5pm and 5.30pm today, and at 11.30pm and noon tomorrow, and in reverse after the games.

Wharf party zones

The official Party Central on Queens Wharf has a capacity of 12,000 people and will be the focus of festivities. If there is an overflow, Captain Cook Wharf will be opened.

But despite the authorities gaining a liquor licence for it, alcohol will be banned on this spill-over wharf for this weekend, at least.

Police numbers in and around the city will be increased after scenes from last weekend's Ireland and Australia match when thousands of revellers blocked roads in Kingsland as they lined up to buy alcohol.

Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said the stadium would be opened earlier and police would be out early to patrol bars and pubs.

A 30km/h speed limit will also be enforced in and around the Kingsland town centre.

- NZ Herald

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