Storm taking home game to NZ

For the first time in their history, Melbourne will be playing a home game for premiership points outside of Victoria.

Melbourne will be hoping for a home away from home when they go up against St-George Illawarra in Round 20 this season after announcing it will play the fixture at McLean Park in Napier, New Zealand.

It is as apart of a one-year partnership with the region.

The seaside town on New Zealand's east coast last hosted an NRL side during an invitational game back in 1994 with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Boasting three Kiwi internationals – Jesse Bromwich, Kevin Proctor and Tohu Harris – the Storm are hoping to paint the town purple and draw a big crowd for the showpiece event on July 25.

Harris played his junior football a little more than 100 kilometres down the road in Tamatea and has already circled the date in the calendar.

"It's going to be really exciting going back to the home town and playing in front of a big crowd in New Zealand," he said.

"Playing an NRL match back in the Hawkes Bay, I am really looking forward to it and I'm sure everyone back home will be out there and supporting the Storm.

"There are a lot of Storm supporters in New Zealand so it is a great opportunity to take the game to them."

The shift in schedule means that Victorian members will see one less game at AAMI Park in 2015. 

As a result the club has made a further announcement that it intends to refund one-twelfth of the full-membership price for fans that have already paid up, or members can chose to instead make a donation to the club.

Storm CEO Mark Evans conceded the announcement was not ideal for the club's local fans but hoped they would see the bigger picture in mind.

"The club has a clear mission which is to ensure the Storm remains in the city of Melbourne… by creating a viable business that in the long run is owned by the fans and members," Evans said.

"For our members, it's regrettable that we needed to move a game away from Melbourne, but such a mission has its challenges and we've made this decision in the best long-term interests of the club. 

"Our football department has been involved in this process and I'd like to acknowledge them for their understanding of the reasons behind the venue switch."

The makeshift game will fall in between a home meeting with Penrith followed by a trip to Leichhardt Oval to face Wests Tigers.

It will be broadcast on Fox Sports in Australia and Sky Sports in New Zealand with tickets to go on sale to the public on March 2.