Premier Dominic Perrottet has confirmed this morning that restrictions on crowd numbers at stadiums in New South Wales will be lifted entirely from the November 8th.
The Premier confirmed at a press conference this morning that the easing of a number of restrictions has been brought forward from the December 1st, as case numbers of COVID-19 continue to be lower than previously projected when the state opened up.
“We’re in a position now where we can relax these restrictions three weeks earlier,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Everyone has done an incredible job to ensure New South Wales can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way.”
This development is set to have a major impact on two key upcoming events in Australian football, with the Socceroos’ first home match in 763 days as well as the Sydney Derby both occurring this month now being able to welcome a full house of 30,000 fans at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta.
Under the previous rules, the capacity for both games was capped at 75%, or 22,500 fans.
This meant that some measures had to be put into place for the opening Sydney Derby on 20th November, with Western Sydney Wanderers members having to specifically redeem tickets for this game using their membership numbers; meaning that many fans were unable to sit in their allocated seats.
While it is unknown whether members will be allowed to return to their normal seats, it is fantastic news for both marquee fixtures as there is a very real chance that supporters could see crowd figures of 27,000 plus for two crucial games.
The Socceroos return home will see them lock horns with leaders of Group B Saudi Arabia on November 11th, as they chase a win that would see them cement their spot within the top two teams of the group, and with it automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup.
The Sydney Derby – taking place just nine days later – is also a hugely significant match for the A-League Mens. It is set to be the first game broadcast on free-to-air television as part of the new broadcast deal with Channel 10, and a packed house featuring the RBB and The Cove in full force would be the perfect backdrop for the first feature broadcast of the new era of Australian football.
Kick360 have approached CommBank Stadium, Western Sydney Wanderers, the Australian Professional Leagues and Football Australia for comment.
Image Source: CommBank Stadium