Tickets are now on sale for the EISS Super Sapphire Trial Tribute match between Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels at Bega.
Tickets for the trial game – which was relocated from Penrith to support the South Coast region and honour firefighters and volunteers – are on sale for $10 through Ticketek.
Free tickets will be available to Sapphire Coast locals who have registered at a Bushfire Recovery Centre since October.
All profits from ticket sales and donations made through Ticketek will go to The Salvation Army’s Rural Assistance Appeal which helps rural communities and individuals who’ve been affected by the drought and bushfires.
Thanks to Ticketek there will be no service or delivery charges attached to the fixture.
The trial, on February 29 at the Bega Recreation Ground, will also include curtain-raiser matches the Andrew Johns Cup and the Laurie Daley Cup which have relocated from Wollongong in support of the region.
“Rugby League always comes together for these moments and it will be wonderful to see thousands of people pack the venue,” NRL Chief Executive Officer Todd Greenberg said.
“We want to ensure we can support the local communities as much as possible, so we have given free entry to locals who have been impacted by the bushfires.
“We want supporters to travel from far and wide for this trial match to help the region get back on its feet and I am sure that they will.”
The trial will be part of a three-day festival, which will include a free concert headlined by ARIA award-winning Australian artist Amy Shark.
The concert, which will also feature rising country music star Brad Cox, will be staged on the cricket ground adjacent to the Bega Recreation Ground, following the “Battle of the West” trial match.
“This is more than just a game of footy, it’s about Rugby League coming together when times are tough,” Mr Greenberg said.
“The festival of footy will show not only that the south coast is open for business but that the game and our supporters come together to support those in need.”
The festival will also see players from both the Panthers and the Eels embedded in the region as part of the game’s overarching Road to Regions program. The community initiative involves player visits to the small towns ravaged by bushfire, providing help in communities and doing what they can to help the locals get back in the game.
The EISS Super Sapphire Tribute forms part of Rugby League’s coordinated whole of game response to the bushfire emergency. The NRL, NSWRL, QRL and RLPA have joined together to assist communities impacted by the fires.