Saturday 24 February 2018

New Zealanders start 'Adopt a Lions fan' campaign with accommodation prices soaring ahead of Lions tour

British and Irish Lions fans. Photo: (Steve Christo) (Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)
British and Irish Lions fans. Photo: (Steve Christo) (Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)

Jack O'Toole

New Zealanders have started an 'Adopt a Lions fan' campaign to assist rugby fans who are looking to attend this summer's test matches between the British & Irish Lions and New Zealand.

Hotel prices in Auckland, where the first and third tests will be played, are currently ranging between the NZ$300-400 mark for a Friday to Sunday stay, however, for the weekend of the first Lions test in June, prices are doubling and tripling depending on the hotel.

The inevitable price hikes may be enough to put some fans off from travelling, however, a Facebook campaign with over 100 posts has gathered momentum over the last month with many locals offering up spare rooms in their homes to accommodate travelling fans.

"As we all know, there are expected to be close to 20,000 British and Irish Lions fans heading to NZ this year for the much anticipated tour, and it's going to be huge," the administrator wrote on the Facebook page.

"Sadly for a lot of the fans, the prices for accommodation is putting it beyond their reach, or the cities hosting the matches have no rooms left at all.

"So this 'event' is to see if there are any Kiwis keen to open their doors to 'adopt' a Lions fan (or two), and really show them the true hospitality Kiwis are world famous for."

Many of the page's users have engaged with rooms on offer in Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Kapiti Island, Wellington, Christchurch, New Plymouth and Auckland among others.

The Lions will play 10 matches on their upcoming tour with Warren Gatland's side expected to arrive in New Zealand three days before their opening game with the New Zealand Barbarians in Whangarei on June 3.

The tourists will then head to Auckland where they will play the Blues on June 7, the Crusaders in Christchruch on June 10, the Highlanders in Dunedin on June 13, the Māori All Blacks in Rotorua on June 17 and the Chiefs in Hamilton on June 20.

The first test match will be played against the All Blacks in Auckland on June 24, before a mid-week game with the Hurricanes in Wellington on June 27, before the second test in the capital on July 1 and the third and final test back in Auckland on July 8.

For more information on the page, click here

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