Celebrations tonight throughout Taranaki after the drop to alert level 1, allowing the Bulls to hold their first Ranfurly Shield defence in front of fans.
The Government today announced all of New Zealand apart from Auckland will drop to level 1 at midnight tonight. It disposes social gathering limitations, allowing maximum crowds to attend sports games.
The timing is perfect for Taranaki who just this past weekend defeated Canterbury 23-22 in the Mitre 10 Cup, to take home the Ranfurly Shield.
Their first defence comes on Sunday against Otago in Inglewood. Taranaki CEO Laurence Corlett says the shackles have come off, and the people will come.
"[The drop to level one] means we can actually run a day without all the other restrictions involving bubbles," he says. "We can get maybe four, four and a half thousand people from the province into the stadium.
"We're going out to our community based clubs first and foremast [with tickets], giving them first crack at it, and then we'll go to Joe Public tomorrow morning.
Corlett concedes most fans will likely miss out with their clubs getting first pick.
"Tell you what there will be a sold-out sign going up… we've been inundated with phone calls and messages already," he says. "We've had a lot of inquiries by local clubs and local schools, we could sell out tonight potentially," he adds.
On top of that, the organisation will hold a victory parade tomorrow in New Plymouth, which Corlett says was not going ahead if they stayed at level 2.
"I enjoyed the one we did in 2011… good to give something back to the community," he adds.
TET Stadium & Events Centre in Inglewood, the venue for Sunday, holds a capacity of 5,000 people. Corlett says they are looking to reduce that slightly with raised platforms.
"We got to make sure people can actually see the game as well, and the ends are a bit limited so we're looking to get a raised platform so the shorter people can actually talk through the game."
Fans will be a welcome change to the opening two rounds of the NPC, which has featured a bleak backdrop of empty stands mixed in with a quiet atmosphere.
But Corlett admits financially the ticket sales will not change much. "It is a boost. It's more the big sponsors who stayed on board during the year like Yarrow, supporting us when it really got tough," he adds.
"This is nice to have… but ticket sales don't make a massive part of your income."
The team will be on a high when they do take the field, which may come in handy with what will be a depleted side compared to their first two matchday squads. Beauden and Jordie Barrett, and Tupou Vaa'i won't feature, instead linking up with the All Blacks this week ahead in Whakatane.