Cricket Tasmania chief executive Nick Cummins says the organisation is on the up following a horrid few seasons and a major leadership overhaul.
The governing body released its annual report on Tuesday which revealed a $768,000 deficit in 2016-17, a $100,000 loss on the rain-affected Test between Australia and South Africa and a $150,000-plus shortfall from declining AFL crowd numbers at Bellerive Oval.
Payout fees to departing staff such as former coaches Dan Marsh and Damien Wright and cost of the Hussey Report were undisclosed, while record Hobart Hurricanes membership (3162 people), home crowd attendance figures (70,278) and 43,003 participants statewide, including a 24 per cent increase in women’s cricket, were promoted as highlights.
About $2.8 million was spent on grassroots cricket with $551,000 directly distributed to club and community associations (73 per cent to premier cricket, 11 per cent each to Cricket North and Cricket North-West and 5 per cent to community cricket).
Total revenue was up 1.55 per cent to $22.4m with $8.8m directed into elite programming and $5.2m went out in player payments.
Cummins said the possibility of the Big Bash expanding to a full home and away season from next year would likely spell more content for Launceston’s UTAS Stadium, generate more members and extra revenue.
However, he said the Hobart Hurricanes were a privilege and not a right and that their entry is not guaranteed.
Cummins also did not rule out selling Hurricanes home games to interstate and overseas.
“The Hurricanes play a really big part in our financial health but we are not entitled to the Hobart Hurricanes, we are not entitled to a Big Bash team,” he said.
“With the Big Bash becoming more and more competitive and more and more cities across Australia and even across the world keen to get involved, we need to ensure we earn the right.
“We are not guaranteed to keep the Hurricanes in perpetuity, we need to make sure we are a healthy and thriving organisation.”
Cummins said spending on grounds, particularly in the North and North-West, would be a priority with declining standards and growth female participation.
He said asking the state government for additional funding on top of its annual $560,000 grant was likely.
“As our financial situation continues to improve it’s about how we best work with local cricket in the North, ensuring their wickets are top class and make playing cricket an enjoyable experience,” he said.
“We’re in a strong position to launch cricket and over the next few years to improve overall on and off the field.”