An en­thu­si­as­tic crowd of 16,000 had a ball at the Cat­tery for our sec­ond Big Bash dou­ble-header.

Geelong Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - CHAD VAN ESTROP

MORE than 16,000 peo­ple de­scended on GMHBA Sta­dium last night as an­other in­stal­ment of the Big Bash was held in Gee­long.

The sec­ond Mel­bourne Rene­gades game in Gee­long this sum­mer saw scores of fam­i­lies turn out to share in a slice of three hours of ac­tion.

Fam­ily friendly ac­tiv­i­ties were a key theme with a sa­fari zone of mock an­i­mals set up out­side the sta­dium pre-game.

In­side, dance con­tests were held, call and re­sponses over the pub­lic ad­dress sys­tem and T-shirts shot out of sling­shots proved pop­u­lar with fans.

Dads wear­ing wigs, mums with faces painted and kids with KFC buck­ets on their heads rev­elled in the balmy evening, while a fast start from the Bris­bane Heat with a flurry of bound­aries saw the crowd break out into a Mex­i­can wave.

Paul Crowe, from East Gee­long, who at­tended with his sis­ter Gen and nieces Lucy, 8, and So­phie, 12, said the en­ter­tain­ment be­tween the play helped keep chil­dren in­ter­ested.

“It’s great for fam­i­lies with all the fan en­gage­ment on the big screen like the danc­ing,” Mr Crowe said, adding he hoped Gee­long would se­cure more Big Bash cricket next year.

“It’s im­por­tant to sup­port events like this be­cause we want more elite sport in Gee­long.”

Kar­dinia Park Sta­dium Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Brown said the Rene­gades were keen for more games in Gee­long.

“I spoke to (Rene­gades boss) Stu­art Coven­try and they want to make a long-term com­mit­ment here,” Mr Brown said.

He said it was pleas­ing to see so many fam­i­lies with kids at the game.

“We’ve been in­cred­i­bly ac­tive with Gee­long Cats mem­bers and lo­cal com­mu­nity groups and that’s been well re­ceived,” he said.

“For a new sport (in Gee­long) we’re pretty happy with where we are at.”

The Heat proved too strong for the Rene­gades as they chased 193 for vic­tory, while the Rene­gades women’s team also lost in the first game of the dou­ble-header.

Ear­lier this month, Mr Coven­try said a crowd of 20,000 at last night’s game would be con­sid­ered a pass mark.

More than 18,029 turned out to the Ren- egades match in Geee­long on Jan­uary 3, and about 23,000 fans at­tended nded the sole Rene­gades game ame in Gee­long last year.

Pic­tures: MARK WIL­SON, AAP

Young fans Con­nor, 4, and Elise, 6; and (left) Rene­gades Harry Gur­ney and Jess Duf­fin in ac­tion yes­ter­day.

Pic­tures: MARK WIL­SON

SEE­ING RED: It was clear who Cooper, Ned and Ed­die (above) and Ta­nia McDonough, Johnathon Kent, Chantel Wor­ley and Shaun McDonough (right) were sup­port­ing yes­ter­day.

Olivia and Phoebe (left) en­joyed the event, with plenty of peo­ple dress­ing up for the Rene­gades’ ‘Zoo­fari’ match’. There were even a few Cats spot­ted in the crowd (above).

Mel­bourne Rene­gades bowler Kane Richard­son signs au­to­graphs for fans be­fore the big match.

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