Hawke's Bay Rugby Union wants to pack McLean Park for the Magpies' first Ranfurly Shield defence against Northland on Friday, October 16.
More than 1000 tickets have already been sold for the match according, to union chief executive Jay Campbell:
"We're certainly heading for a bumper crowd, and what we'd love is to have a packed out McLean Park with all our community and people there roaring us home so we can try to keep it for another week."
Campbell said holding the Shield is a fantastic boost for rugby in the region because it draws interest like nothing else.
He said it creates significant bottom line upside, with match tickets selling really well and corporate hospitality at a premium:
"Hopefully that will help us in terms of a lot of the compromises we've had to make because of Covid."
Campbell said the crowd numbers for Hawke's Bay's previous home game, a famous win over Canterbury, were a fraction disappointing:
"I think you've got to temper that with where we've been, and what people have gone through over the last six months."
Regardless, the Magpies are happy to be bringing the Ranfurly Shield to those who appreciate it most on Friday - the fans.
People will be able to see the Log o' Wood and the men who brought it home between 9am and 10am at the Soundshell in Napier, then from 11am to 12pm at the Hastings CBD by the clock tower.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for our fans to get up close and personal with the Shield and with the players," said Campbell.
"We're treasuring the time with the Shield, you never know how long you have it for, so it's our duty to make sure we get it out amongst our community."
He said the Bay is a region that embraces the trophy, so it's important to get it around the entire area to as many fans as possible.
The Magpies are looking at having another public event in Dannevirke on Monday, while Central Hawke's Bay club pair Joel Hintz and Tom Parsons will take the Shield to Waipukurau on Tuesday.
Details are also being finalised for a trip to Wairoa next Wednesday.