Sports to kick off for business
A PROGRAM of high-profile sports events could deliver at least $100 million annually for the district’s economy and deliver invaluable TV coverage of the region’s attractions.
Representatives of Complete Sports Group (CSG), a company that works to attract major sporting events to regional areas, were in Bundaberg yesterday to outline their plans to local business operators and ask for their support.
Company director Rick Sleeman said CSG had completed an audit of the region’s sports infrastructure, which enabled them to target which sports could be accommodated and at what level.
He said there was the potential to attract major events in AFL, bowls, basketball, BMX, cricket, hockey, karting, triathlon, surf lifesaving, rowing, rugby league, union, football, softball, table tennis, tennis and touch.
“Normally in a region we average 10 to 12 sports that can be targeted,” he said.
“Here we are looking at 17.”
Already locked in are the Crusty Demons, trick dirt bike riders that are expected to attract a crowd of 10,000 people.
“Of those, 35% are expected to come in from outside the region,” Mr Sleeman said.
Also in place is the Bundaberg Tennis International for at least another two years.
Another international sporting event would provide hours of highlights packages on free-to-air TV, Fox Sports and BSkyB, including items on the region’s attractions.
A swimming tournament, triathlon, a team of former cricket Test stars playing against a team of potential first class cricketers and a girls’ football competition are also on the timetable.
Mr Sleeman said local business operators, such as accommodation providers, would be asked to support the program by paying a proportion of their profits to the Bundaberg Regional Council to enable more sporting events to be attracted to the district.
Bundaberg Regional Council social and recreation portfolio Councillor Lynne Forgan said the presentations were very well received.
She said the meeting was a great success, with everyone attending indicating they would support the push to get more major sporting events for the region.
“This not only helps the economy in the region but also benefits socially within the community while promoting sport — a great result where all benefit,” Cr Forgan said.