Launceston business stakeholders have agreed a potential Big Bash League Tasmanian hub would provide a much-needed boost.
Cricket Australia is believed to be exploring options for its flagship domestic tournament, with the state government saying it was in talks with administrators.
Visit Northern Tasmania chief executive Chris Griffin said a hub would be a “godsend” but the state’s 500-person gathering limit would need adjusting to provide a viable stimulus.
“Provided that we can attract appropriate-sized crowds to those games it would be exactly the type of stimulus we’re looking for in terms of reinvigorating our events community and attracting visitors to the city,” Mr Griffin said.
“I think we certainly need to experiment with safe configurations on how we can gather people beyond 500.
“It’s no secret that our events community, sporting events in particular, require large volumes of visitors to be successful and we need them to be successful to attract visitors to the region.”
In other news:
Premier Peter Gutwein said the Department of Public Health was reviewing the outcome of a recent trial of crowd number increases at a northern Hobart football game.
Mr Griffin suggested UTAS Stadium could be separated into zones that would not interact with one another during games.
“You could have four or five different zones of 500 people with those people not allowed to intermingle with other zones,” he said.
“Essentially you’d have five events at the same time, you’d just happen to be watching the same game.”
Both Mr Griffin and Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer David Peach said Launceston hub games would also be a boost of confidence for visitor-dependant businesses such as hotels.
Mr Peach said the prospect of the hub made a good pairing with newer Launceston developments such as Hotel Verge for visitors.
“I think anyone coming to town would be interested in checking out a new experience … tie that in with a reason to come to town like a BBL hub and those two go together hand in glove,” he said.
“Confidence and morale are always a good thing … I went to a BBL game a couple of years ago at Bellerive and I could see the crowds going nuts … definitely bringing that to town is a good thing.”
Mr Griffin added the potential games would have intrastate visitors who would spend more than one night in Launceston.
“We find with weekend sporting games of this magnitude people make a weekend out of it – they stay for an extra few days and spend up on tourism attractions, wineries and food producers,” he said.
Mr Gutwein said discussions were ongoing with Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania regarding all future possibilities.