Fans are expected to flock to McLean Park this Saturday with the announcement there'll be free entry for the home team's semifinal against Taranaki.
Hawke's Bay Rugby Union said it had been a "challenging year" for many people who'd faced a severe drought, Covid -19 and most recently the flooding, which had particularly impacted the communities surrounding McLean Park.
So a group of local businesses along with Napier City council banded together to let Hawke's Bay know "this one's on us".
Hawke's Bay is renowned for loyally supporting its team, the Magpies, so the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union has decided to repay that support and attempt to bring some joy to everyone who could do with a little good in their lives at the moment.
Hawke's Bay Rugby chief executive Jay Campbell said 2020 had been a struggle for many.
"Our farmers have been hit hard with droughts, Napier was smashed last week with flooding and all business sectors and communities have been affected by Covid and the lockdown," he said.
"Therefore, with the support of fantastic partners and the Napier City Council we are privileged to be able to make this weekend's semifinal free of charge so that everyone can forget about all the challenges for a couple of hours and come along and enjoy some semifinal footy in the sun."
Following the Magpies' victory against Wellington, the HBRU started working with several partners to try to make free entry a reality.
Napier City Council, Unison and Napier businessman Rodney Green have all contributed to support the union in covering the costs to open the gates and make the event free for both stand and general admission areas.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise said the storm event last week highlighted the "ongoing
resilience shown by our community in times of adversity.
"Good on the Magpies for opening the semifinal up for our residents. As a city, we're happy to get completely behind this and help it happen."
Unison Group chief executive Ken Sutherland added: "Following a difficult year for our communities, we are pleased to be in a position where we can assist our people to support our team. The Magpies have galvanised so many this year and we hope they can continue to give a Hawke's Bay crowd something to celebrate this weekend."
Green was delighted to be supporting what he says is "a great initiative that will give this community something to cheer about considering the hardships everyone has faced during the year and if I can do my small part to make it happen, then I am more than happy to do so."
Hawke's Bay Rugby will allocate sections in the stands for season members and sponsors to thank them for their loyal support in addition to a large number of tickets being provided to those families directly affected by the recent floods and/or are currently displaced and living at Kennedy Park.
"However, with more than 8500 seats and a ground capacity of 16,500 there will be plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the experience," Campbell said.
The match kicks off at 4.35pm on Saturday, November 21. Gates will open from 3pm and available stand seating will be allocated on a first in first served basis.
If the Magpies win they will host the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final at McLean Park on Friday, November 27, at 7.05pm.