Dubbo Regional Council will push to host the NSW Aboriginal League Knockout again after it bought more than $1.3 million to the city.
The winning team of the Koori Knockout is given the opportunity to host the event the following year, however after the Newcastle Yowies won it in 2017, an understanding was made with Dubbo to hold the Knockout at Apex Oval.
There were 4110 registered players at the event – which ran for three days from September 29 – including 3930 from outside the Dubbo local government area.
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Based on an average overnight stay of 1.41 nights for each visitor, council has calculated the flow-on effect of the Koori Knockout on the Dubbo economy was $1.3 million.
There was an 85.5 per cent occupancy rate in the hotels in Dubbo during September. It was a four per cent increase from the year before when the Knockout wasn’t in Dubbo.
However, the guest nights dropped from 15,442 nights in September 2017 to 14,907 in September 2018.
Council is looking at opportunities to host the Knockout in the future and Dubbo Regional mayor Ben Shields said it was something that should be welcomed with open arms.
“There’s no doubt the coins this has bought into the community has been significant. I’ve heard nothing but good responses from the business community in particular, hospitality, retail, as well as accommodation,” he said.
I’ve heard nothing but good responses from the business community...Mayor Ben Shields
Council surveyed businesses in the local government area after the Knockout. Of the 109 responses received, 90 per cent of businesses said they wanted the event to return.
There were 102 businesses that said they had an increase in business of two per cent or more during the event compared to previous long weekends and another 19 businesses said they had an increase between 10 and 20 per cent.
“It does bring a significant financial benefit into this community. It’s something we should be chasing, it’s something we should be looking to get more of,” Cr Shields said.
As part of the agreement with the Newcastle Yowies, Dubbo council waived the fees and charges to hire Apex Oval.
The Newcastle All Blacks won the Knockout this year, giving them the choice of where the 2019 event will be hosted.