Hopes Otago Volts will charge local coffers
Southland Cricket Association general manager Ian Mockford says the organisation has a unique opportunity before it and he hopes the Southland public can help make it a success.
Queens Park in Invercargill will play host to two Otago Volts Ford Trophy one-day games in coming days, with the first against the Northern Knights on Sunday and the next against Wellington on Wednesday.
Traditionally the Otago Cricket Association has run the games in Invercargill and in turn taken the gate takings but for these two games this season the Southland Cricket Association will run the fixtures and take the profits.
Mockford said it was a good opportunity for cricket in Southland.
"It's a very good chance for us. I guess it's our big day of the year in respect to trying to get a crowd and promoting the game and doing all right financially, which is not the only thing but it's certainly a big part in trying to stay afloat as an organisation," Mockford said yesterday.
He was hopeful that with the right weather, along with the fact that the Volts had hit the spotlight through their HRV Cup win, the games would pull people through the gates.
"It's a difficult one. We can't dictate if people are going to come or not; all that we can hope for is that the day is fine. We had over 2000 for a HRV Cup game a couple of seasons ago and while HRV Cup is a bit different I would hope if it's a good day we'd get 1500 people, but I might be being overpositive. I don't know."
Mockford said their promotion had centred around the fact 18-year-old Southlander Jacob Duffy was in line to play his first game for the Volts at home at Queens Park.
"It makes it a little bit more exciting. He's not just a Southlander that's filling in, he's a Southlander that's a pretty important part of the Volts, I think, and and we're only seeing the start of what Jake can do, which is pretty exciting."
Tickets for the Ford Trophy games in Invercargill are priced at $15 an adult.
However they can be bought at the cheaper rate of $10 each online at www.otagocricket.co.nz
Mockford said they had targeted the promotion around Sunday's game against Northern Districts, with more people likely to attend because it was in the weekend.
The Wednesday game, he said, would be pitched at getting as many schoolchildren along as possible at reduced rates, but he didn't expect a large turnout.
Given that the world-class Jesse Ryder will likely be playing for Wellington on Wednesday, that may encourage some people to take the day off work and also help get more school pupils through the gate.
The Volts and Northern Districts teams will both arrive in Invercargill on Saturday and train at Queens Park.
The Volts team will stay in Invercargill through to Wednesday's game against Wellington.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Ford Trophy (one-day) cricket
WHO: Otago Volts, Northern Knights, Wellington Firebirds.
WHEN: Sunday – Volts v Knights; Wednesday Volts v Firebirds.
WHERE: Queens Park, Invercargill.
The Southland Times