DREAM match-ups and sunny skies are delivering a finals financial windfall to both Warrnambool and District and Hampden football netball leagues.
The Warrnambool and District Football Netball League (WDFNL) posted a record gate on Saturday, 25 per cent up on last year.
It was a similar story for the first weekend of Hampden finals with Sunday's cut-throat encounter between North Warrnambool Eagles and Koroit generating 25 per cent more at the gate than last year. Saturday's qualifying final gate takings were 20 per cent up on 2011.
WDFNL president Justin Balmer said the league was delighted with the turnout at Warrnambool's Reid Oval on Saturday where a big crowd witnessed a thrilling preliminary final between Panmure and Dennington, which wasn't decided until the last kick of the game.
Balmer said the 25 per cent increase equated to about $3000 more than last year, despite no increases in admission prices.
"I'm very happy," Balmer said. "It was obviously a great day. The crowds are supporting the district league."
Balmer said the interest in the competition was fuelling hopes of another big turnout for Saturday's grand final at Reid Oval.
"We have nine clubs represented this weekend out of 12, which is a pretty good percentage," he said.
He said the preliminary final gate had advanced takings for the series beyond the first three weeks of last year.
"A couple of cold days had hurt us," he said.
Hampden league chief executive officer Mike Farrow yesterday announced Koroit's Victoria Park and the Friendly Societies' Park would host this weekend's semi-finals.
He said the league was delighted with attendances at both the qualifying and elimination finals on the weekend with the 20 and 25 per cent increases on last year equating to about $2000 each.
Farrow said the league had opted to play the second semi-finals at Koroit on Saturday because 13 of the 18 teams involved for the day were from Warrnambool or west of the city.
On Sunday, 10 of the 18 teams will be from the western end of the league and will play at the Friendly Societies' Park.