Halifax rugby turf deemed unsafe, international game forced to move
Halifax couldn't repair Wanderers Ground in time
The organizer of an international rugby game is disappointed the event has to be moved from downtown Halifax.
Team Canada is set to play the Glasgow Warriors on Saturday in what's being called the Battle for New Scotland. It was supposed to take place on the Wanderers Grounds. But when the two teams arrived, they deemed the field unsafe to play on.
"There's just not enough grass," said Derek Martin, head of Sports and Entertainment Atlantic which is organizing the match.
"We've had to move it to the Graves Oakley field in Spryfield. Luckily we were bringing in seating and tents anyway so we just had to call the companies and change the location of the set up."
Martin says it's too bad because the theme of the match better suits the venue closer to Citadel Hill and the downtown bars and restaurants.
"But this is what happens sometimes. You just have to roll with it and try to get three days of work done in one and still deliver a good event," he said.
The Graves Oakley field has been used before for Maritime rugby games.
The Saturday match is all but sold out. About 5,000 tickets have been snapped up, leaving just standing room-only tickets in the beer tent.
Anyone who does not want to watch the game at the new venue can get a full refund.
Organizers are working on a transportation plan using Metro Transit buses as a shuttle service from both downtown Halifax and shopping areas in Spryfield.
A spokesperson for Halifax says the city had been working since June to improve the turf at the Wanderers Grounds.
"But unfortunately, nothing we tried actually took," said Jennifer Stairs.