Regional sporting clubs fight for their right to larger crowds

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Regional Victorian sporting clubs, together with the Liberal Nationals, are calling for the Andrews Labor Government to increase the maximum number of spectators allowed at sporting events from the current limit of 1,000 to 3,000, in line with New South Wales.

Victorian community sporting clubs and leagues are being pushed to their limits.

Having a restricted crowd puts a huge strain on sponsorships, memberships and benefits from the club’s canteens and bars, especially with the Easter holidays fast approaching.

The threat of Easter carnivals being played interstate really pulls at the heart of community sport.

This unfair restriction is forcing border clubs to consider alternatives, including moving their games into New South Wales. Wangaratta Football Clubs are contemplating taking their game to Albury for the larger crowds, which means the local community will miss out.

Regional Victoria has been put through the wringer by the city-centric Andrews Labor Government’s sudden border closures and snap lockdowns. Ever-changing restrictions make it incredibly difficult for spectators, locals and tourists alike to confidently attend games.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:

“Regional Victoria hasn’t had a COVID-19 case in months and months. It’s not fair to punish regional sports with limited crowds yet allow 50,000 people into the MCG.

“I’m not sure the city-centric Andrews Labor Government understands how big of a draw card regional sporting games are to communities and businesses. It has the potential to bring in some big names and plenty of tourists.

“Sport is such an important aspect to regional communities. It brings locals together, encourages tourism and boosts trade in local towns.”

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