Council overestimates cricket
ONE of the worst dust storms in living memory and a sports-packed September kept fans away from the Festival of Cricket and ended with underwriter Lismore City Council losing $168,000 on the week-long event.
A report to be tabled at Lismore Council meeting on Tuesday night reveals initial crowd numbers were ‘significantly over-estimated’ by up to 900 spectators a day, resulting in a shortfall of gate entry fees of $108,000.
In addition, the council spent about $60,000 on hiring supplementary lights for the night games in a bid to boost attendances that did not materialise.
Lismore Council played host to the high-profile cricket festival late September at Oakes Oval which served as a precursor for the New South Wales and Victoria teams playing in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India.
The Festival was devised by Complete Sports Marketing, with Lismore snaring the right to host the tournament after it stumped up $153,300.
Describing the staging of the event as ‘ambitious’ the report said it was well-received by sponsors and players.
NSW Cricket manager Matthew Mott emailed Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell after the team won the Champions League in India citing the festival as one of the reasons for the team’s win.
While the tournament was a drain on ratepayers’ funds, most people who attended said they were impressed with Lismore’s sporting facilities and would return if it was held again, a survey by DSA Consulting found.
Almost 60 per cent of fans rated Oakes Oval as ‘excellent’ and 40 per cent described the oval as ‘good’.
Slightly less than 100 per cent said their overall experience was either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, with 97 per cent saying they would return if it was staged again.
Still, the report recommends that if the council wants to be a ‘promoter’ of future events, greater scrutiny and expert advice on likely costs and target market participation was required to ensure the best financial result was achieved.
The DSA Consulting survey found average visitors spent $54 on tickets, $17 on merchandise, $43 on food and drink, $65 on accommodation, $35 on transport, and $51 on other spending.
However it warned: “Given the low numbers responding to the survey it would be ridiculous to attempt even a cursory economic impact based on these figures.”