Board acts to tackle crowd problems November 2, 2005

New Zealand introduces family-friendly zones

Cricinfo staff



Crowd trouble during the ODI at Wellington in March © Getty Images
New Zealand Cricket has announced the introduction of separate sections for families and fans wanting to enjoy a quieter time at one-day internationals. Last season there were a number of incidents at major matches.

Martin Snedden, NZC's chief executive, told reporters that the zones would have special security measures in place. He said that zones were especially relevant at Westpac Stadium in Wellington because the crowd was invariably mixed there. "You know if you are on the terraces at Eden Park or in the DB Draught stand at Jade [Stadium] that you are right in among the rowdy types, but in Wellington there isn't that distinction," he said. "People go to the cricket for a whole lot of reasons and we want to cater for all of them."

He added that ticket prices for the family zone would be reduced, and he said that the hope was that families who had not originally booked tickets there would be able to move there during matches if space allowed. "We recognise that parents may wish to enjoy a drink and alcohol will be allowed within the zones," he concluded. "But bad behaviour will not."

While New Zealand's Alcohol Advisory Council welcomed the announcement, a spokesman pointed out that families should not have to be separated and that the authorities should refuse to serve anyone clearly the worse for drink.

"New Zealand has a drinking culture that tolerates drunkenness and moves such as this simply reinforce this culture," the spokesman said. "What does it say about our society that we need to create a special zone for families and children to feel safe at a public event? Instead of fencing in families and children why not just enforce the law and kick drunks out?"