Build it and they will come
WHILE the conversation about who should foot the monster bill for the Sports Precinct and whether it needs to cost quite as much is rightly continuing, we shouldn’t lose sight of the end goal.
The Junior State Cup has given us a glimpse into the potential for sports tourism but it’s just the start.
The transformation of the coastal town of Coffs Harbour, which just benefited from $4.5million boost as host of the Tag World Cup, is a case in point. This is a code which brings an estimated $20million to Coffs annually
Visiting the region, I was in awe of the buzz around town as thousands of players and their families filled shopping centres, restaurants and resorts for two weeks.
The local council had rolled out the welcome mat with banners and flags lining the airport entrance and CBD streets.
Coffs Harbour’s capacity to host such an event only became possible with significant investment in sport tourism and the council and Federal Government each tipping in millions for the upgrade of the sports stadium.
While Cr Chapman’s call for sporting clubs to come up with some dollars is fair, the reality is, the bulk of this money is going to come from ratepayers and hopefully government grants.
Unpopular as this concept may still be in some corners of the region, I’ve yet to see an argument which trumps the enormous benefit sports tourism stands to have on our economy.