A rugby-mad couple have had a ball revealing the gender of their first baby on the big screen at Eden Park.
Paul Bonato and Nicki Lim travelled more than 2200km from Brisbane to the hallowed turf where they were surrounded by family yesterday as the screens suddenly flashed pink.
"It was [a complete surprise] for me. I thought it was a boy from day one," said Nicki.
Paul said the couple were "super excited" about having a girl and had been eagerly waiting to find out their baby's sex since the doctor determined the gender about two weeks ago. He was lucky enough to set up the big reveal with a phone call to Eden Park.
"Our brother-in-law… he's known this whole time and been torturing us. He's been saying 'would you like some pink balloons? Then he's like 'oh we'll get some blue ones too'," said Paul.
Nicki, originally from Rotorua, celebrated the news on the field with her mum, stepdad, two sisters and brother-in-law, while Paul's family, who are from Australia, watched the reveal via Skype.
"They were applauding, that's all I could hear was them clapping in the background. I think my dad's just ecstatic to be on virtual Eden Park turf himself actually," said Paul.
Although the baby's gender has been revealed, there was one thing that remained uncertain - her rugby allegiance. With Paul a Wallabies fan and Nicki an All Blacks supporter it would be up to the baby to decide who she supported.
"We've got two different outfits [an All Blacks onesie and Wallabies onesie], I think that they'll be sewn together until she's old enough to choose that mum's always right," joked Nicki.
"We're both massive rugby fans. I think that's one of the things we bonded over when we met. Even though he's a Wallabies supporter."
The couple visited Eden Park at least once a year - usually for the Bledisloe Cup, which they hoped to bring their daughter to next year. The baby is due in August.
But the focus for now was on celebrating, which they kicked off in true Kiwi fashion with fish and chips on the beach at Mission Bay last night.
Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said the gender reveal was a first for Eden Park.
"We are excited to be part of such a special moment in Paul and Nicki's lives. The fact they were willing to come over from Brisbane especially to have the gender of their first baby revealed at Eden Park indicates what a world-class stadium Eden Park is and how highly revered it is globally."