For the first time in their 29-season history, the One New Zealand Warriors are set to break the 500,000 barrier for combined home and away crowds in a regular NRL season.
The attendance of 25,095 for last Friday’s match against St George Illawarra – the biggest of the season at Go Media Stadium – lifted the club’s aggregate for its 12 home games to 272,220 (an average of 22,685), the second best behind 1995’s 290,946.
Yet while the support has been exceptional at home games, attendances at away matches have been equally compelling.
That was evidenced by the Warriors-dominated crowd at the sold-out match against the Wests Tigers in Hamilton as well as the big numbers of fans supporting the One New Zealand Warriors in their road matches against Melbourne, Parramatta and Gold Coast. So much so the aggregate for crowds for the club’s away matches sits at 198,781 ahead of the last regular season match against the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday.
That leaves the combined attendance for home and away games sitting at 471,001.
The Dolphins drew a crowd of 33,449 to last Friday night’s match against the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium with support from ex-patriate New Zealanders tipped to take this week’s attendance past the 35,000 mark.
If that happens the One New Zealand Warriors will surge through the half million mark for the first time.
The record now stands at 495,624 in 1995 with the 400,000 mark previously bettered only two other times before this season with 423,923 in 2018 and 410,439 in 2014.
This week’s game is certain to give the One New Zealand Warriors their highest total attendance for away games in their history.
They need a crowd of only 17,000 at Suncorp Stadium to overtake the record of 215,405 set in 2018. There were also 200,000 plus away aggregates in 1995, 2009 and 2014.