Dubbo should be looking to attract an NRL match to the city, says Dubbo Regional councillor Kevin Parker.
The Newcastle Knights and West Tigers played in Tamworth at the weekend. It attracted a crowd of 10,000 and Wests Entertainment Group has already said there would be future talks with the NRL about the possibility for future events.
Cr Parker said Tamworth had had an NRL match and Mudgee was getting a game every year, maybe it was time Dubbo looked into hosting a game.
However, mayor Ben Shields has cautioned against the cost of getting an NRL club to consider Dubbo.
“Just be mindful that Bathurst paid up to $250,000 for their NRL game and Tamworth had a business levy to pay for the cost of having an NRL game in the community. I’m not too sure if our business community would be okay with paying the levy,” Cr Shields said.
According to Tourism Research Australia, the average overnight spend in Dubbo is $124.58. If 3000 of the attendees came from outside Dubbo for the match, $373,700 would be added to the economy.
Trying to get a match in the city had been rejected in the past because of the cost, Cr Parker said.
“I’m thinking in our forward budgeting that we consider looking at that over the years to come and maybe consider bringing a match. I’m sure Apex Oval can accommodate more than 10,000 people,” he said.
Councillor John Ryan agreed.
“I’m not in favour of paying money to rich football clubs but we are getting left behind and I think it’s something we should debate and consider and potentially put aside the funds so we can get a game at Apex – which is a fantastic facility – every few years,” he said.