New Zealand Super League’s Crusaders & Hurricanes to be Privately Owned

By Community | November 12, 2012

Canterbury Crusaders and Wellington Hurricanes are set to be run by private investors after the New Zealand Rugby Union granted licences to private investors for the Super League clubs.

NZRU chairman Steve Tew revealed a joint-ownership deal has already been struck for the Hurricanes licence and a similar arrangement is expected to be finalised for seven-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders within a month.

As part of the Wellington sell-off, existing owner the Wellington Rugby Football Union will jointly run the team with a business consortium that includes investors linked to the Wellington Phoenix A-League football club.

The NZRU, which is eager to improve its finances, did not disclose how much the consortium paid for a 50 percent stake in the Hurricanes licence until 2016 and the option for a five-year renewal after that.

Expressions of interest were invited by the NZRU last December in four of the country’s five Super Rugby teams – the Otago Highlanders were not included – but no deals were finalised in time for the 2013 season for the Auckland Blues and Waikato Chiefs.

NZRU chairman Steve Tew said: “These new arrangements are a step forward in terms of putting Super Rugby on a stronger financial footing to ensure the game at the professional level is better placed to prosper and deliver for its fans.”