Over the past 18 months or so I have had the privilege of seeing a number of live sporting events in New Zealand…
- Vodafone Warriors Rugby League
- World Cup Cricket (NZ vs Australia)
- Sky City Breakers Basketball
- ASB Football Premiership Grand Final
- NZ International Football
- Heineken Open Tennis
- Aussie Rules (ANZAC day St Kilda game in Wellington in case you are confused)
OK, I haven’t seen the All Blacks (yet?) and I don’t much care for Rugby Union as a rule but what I will say is that the atmosphere at events with reasonable sized crowds is rather subdued as a rule. In the UK, at live sport, you generally get a loud volume and a degree of edginess thrown in. Not here. Crowds are almost too polite. Very unusual. You could almost hear a pin drop at the tennis at times…and the local sparrows were noticeable!
Incredibly, the best atmosphere has been the cricket (NZ won the game we saw – just – only to lose to the same opponents (the Aussies!) in the final) although the best entertainment value has to have been the basketball which as a sport I don’t care much for (to be honest, America, it is a dull sport!) but far better to be at the game where a party atmosphere is punctuated by the play!