Launceston's Big Bash fixture a chance to secure regular hosting rights: Cricket Tasmania CEO

HOMEGROWN: Former South Launceston batsman George Bailey will again skipper the Hurricanes in the Big Bash. Picture: Rick Smith/ Cricket Australia
HOMEGROWN: Former South Launceston batsman George Bailey will again skipper the Hurricanes in the Big Bash. Picture: Rick Smith/ Cricket Australia

A sellout crowd at UTAS Stadium’s inaugural Big Bash fixture would go a long way to securing more games in Launceston, says Cricket Tasmania chief executive Nick Cummins.

Tickets to the Hobart Hurricanes’ long-awaited December 30 clash with Sydney Thunder will go on sale this Monday with many predicting one of the ground’s biggest crowds on record.

The Hurricanes recorded three sell-outs and a total attendance of 70,000 across four Bellerive Oval fixtures last season and Cummins is hoping for similar results in the North.

“Just like the Big Bash games in Hobart, we anticipate this game will be close to being sellout so we encourage people to purchase early,” he said.

“We anticipate the TV audience will be close to a million which I think is the biggest TV sporting event in the region in history so it’s going to be a great showcase of Launceston and the North and it’s going to be an extremely popular event to attend as well.

“The more the community embraces it the stronger signal that sends that we should be playing more Big Bash in the North, so definitely we’ll be watching with great interest to see how the public responds.”

George Bailey, Dan Christian and Tim Paine headline the players already signed up for the Hurricanes this season, with plenty more including an international signing to be announced over the coming weeks.

The Hurricane’s Sydney clash will be bookended by two WBBL matches at the same venue, which Cummins hopes will see plenty of spectators fill the stadium before the game and on the following day. 

“The WBBL has been a hugely successful tournament and it’s really inspired a generation of girls to pick up a cricket bat, so it’s well worth anyone who hasn’t seen a WBBL game live to come and watch the game. 

“We had the Ricky Ponting charity match (at UTAS Stadium) which I understand was hugely successful, and there’s a great attendance culture in the North and North-West and a really strong and vibrant cricket community so we’re expecting a lot of interest.”

Tickets go on sale at 10am and can be purchased via the Hurricanes website.

HURRICANES AT BELLERIVE OVAL IN 2016-17

  • Total attendance: 70,000
  • Average attendance per game: 17,570
  • Over 10 per cent of ticket sales and memberships came from the North
  • Females accounted for 40 per cent of crowds
  • 40 per cent of club’s member base joined as part of a family