Hurricanes memberships rise more than 30 per cent06.02.2017
Hurricanes membership numbers have risen by more than 30 per cent since the club won its inaugural Investec Super Rugby title in 2016.
The defending Super Rugby champions will enter the 2017 season with at least 6,000 members after more than 1,400 additional fans joined the Canes Family during the offseason.
"We are really grateful for the support we have throughout the Hurricanes region and off the back of a fantastic year it feels like our fans have generated some real momentum," Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said.
"We want our fans to feel like they are part of something meaningful and I think the way our team conducted themselves last year has connected with a lot of people."
In another sign of the Hurricanes growing popularity, the team's preseason match against the Crusaders in the tiny South Taranaki town of Waverley next Friday has sold out.
Lee believed the club's decision to give away free playoff tickets to its members last year struck a chord with a lot of long-time supporters.
"We wanted our fans to know how much we valued their patronage and their investment in our club and I think that was a small way for us to give something back to people who have given the club a lot over the years."
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said the increased memberships were a boost for his players and management.
"There is no doubt that our home crowd helped us win the title for the first time last year as we went through the playoffs and to have them vote with their feet during the off season is fantastic.
"I can assure our fans that when the players run out to a big, loud, yellow and black home crowd they get a massive lift. The Hurricanes have always had a passionate and loyal fan base and it has always been appreciated."
The Hurricanes will get their first chance to say thank you to their fans when they play in front of a capacity 4,500 fans at the Border Rugby Club in Waverley next Friday.
Boyd said the team were looking forward to the Farmlands Grassroots Game Day, which was shaping as a unique event.
"It just shows how strong our support is throughout the Hurricanes region and to sell out a preseason match is a great result," he said. "Hopefully we can put on a great spectacle for all the people from Whanganui and South Taranaki on the day."
For fans who missed out on general admission tickets to the Crusaders match, the Hurricanes will be opening their captain's run at Cooks Garden in Whanganui to the public on Thursday, February 16.
* Hurricanes memberships are still available at www.rugbymemberships.co.nz until the end of February.
* Anyone wanting to purchase hospitality packages for the Hurricanes preseason match against the Crusaders at Waverley can call 0800224224 or visit www.ticketdirect.co.nz