7 Jun 2017

Auckland gears up for Lions v Blues clash

10:40 am on 7 June 2017

Fans heading to tonight's clash between the Blues and the British and Irish Lions in Auckland are being urged to get to Eden Park early.

Lions supporters were out in force for the match.

Lions supporters at Saturday's match against the Barbarians. Photo: Photosport NZ

Auckland Transport is putting on extra buses and trains for the match, but it's warning there could be delays.

Kick-off is just after 7.30pm and gates open two hours before that, coinciding with the evening rush hour.

Auckland Transport said people should consider catching the train to Kingsland early, and grab a drink or something to eat.

For those heading home from work, there could be some delays on the roads and on public transport, because of the extra people travelling.

Meanwhile, Eden Park said people should allow extra time when they arrive because security will be tight.

It said there would be extra checks and it would take longer than for a normal rugby game. All bags would also be searched.

While there were fears the Lions tour would put a squeeze on accommodation in Auckland, there were still hotel rooms available and places to stay on Air BnB tonight.

The Ellerslie Racecourse would also be open for fans with campervans.

But Greymouth man Adam Gilshnan, who set up a Facebook page to connect fans with families willing to billet them, said there were still people looking for a bed.

"Pretty much every time an Aucklander posts what they've got in the way of accommodation, there's a Lions fan - sometimes two or three - saying 'is this offer still open?' So I know the Lions fans are still looking for them. Some Lions fans are posting themselves saying, 'Hey can anyone help out?' and Aucklanders are just clicking on there and touching base with them," he said.

A Metservice communications meteorologist said the weather forecast for tonight's game wasn't looking too bad, and recommended supporters bring a decent jacket and prepare for a possible shower.

Some tickets for the match are still available.

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