Wai-BOP Magic confident of winning over fans

AARON GOILE
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014
Courtney Tairi
MARTIN HUNTER/ Getty

QUICK HANDS: Courtney Tairi shows her skills in a Magic side performing well in the trans Tasman netball championship.

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There's nothing like a winning team to lift attendances, and that's what the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic franchise is banking on, having decided not to cut ticket prices.

Following a woeful turnout of 1575 at Hamilton's 4000-capacity Claudelands Arena for the Magic's first home game, against the Steel in round three, the franchise's management were looking into every aspect of their approach, with ticket prices one of those things under review.

But Waikato-Bay of Plenty Netball Zone chief executive Tim Hamilton said that although it was considered, no change would be made to the pricing structure this year.

''We're always conscious of people who want to be able to afford to come and watch, and we've got to take that into account all the time, and we constantly think about it,'' he said.

''But I think just reacting after one game was not the right business decision really.

''Our business model doesn't change, just because we get a poorer crowd. We've still got to pay our business accounts.''

There are three adult price categories for Magic home matches - $20, $30 and $40 - unchanged from Hamilton's first season in charge in 2013.

''We had no such issues last year, didn't receive one complaint about a price. So the fact that we didn't change the price [for this year] was just modelled on what we felt was reasonable.''

Hamilton added that altering prices mid-season would be a logistical headache. Key issues were that season ticket holders would get a raw deal and the risk of undervaluing the game.

''Because ticket sales have been live since before Christmas, we owe it, just to ourselves, to make sure that the modelling that we think is right can get a good crack, and if it doesn't we'll always review it. It's probably a season-ending thing rather than one or two games.

''We are aware and we do want to grow a fan base for a team that's fronting up well. They've got a lot of potential, a lot of promise, and I think the future's positive in that respect.''

Hamilton was happy with getting 2200 people to last Sunday's match against the West Coast Fever at Mt Maunganui's ASB Arena (capacity 2700), and he's also pleased that about 1800 tickets have so far been sold for next Monday's game at Claudelands against the Central Pulse, as the new-look and unbeaten Magic maintain their appeal.

''I guess off the back of the team performance, we'd be disappointed if they weren't strong,'' he said.

''We'd love Claudelands to be rocking with a full crowd, it'd be an ideal situation. I'd like to think the Waikato-Bay of Plenty public can push towards helping us achieve that.''

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- Waikato Times

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