WEATHER not quality matters when it comes to grand final encounters.
Warrnambool and District Football Netball League (WDFNL) officials yesterday revealed Saturday’s season finale, which included a heart-stopping senior football grand final win by Panmure, had a smaller crowd than last year’s record.
President Justin Balmer said gate takings for the day had topped $30,000 — about $1500 less than the 2011 record of $31,500.
“It was slightly down on last year and we put that down to the weather,” he said.
“Last year was very good weather and Saturday wasn’t.”
Balmer said the league had good drawing power.
Gate takings across the finals series were “a fraction down” compared with last year.
Balmer said the dip was due to some wet and wild weather early in the finals series which contrasted to last year’s better weather.
“I’m more than happy with the gates,” Balmer said.
“It’s the second or third best grand final gate we’ve had.
“It depends on the weather. If we had Sunday’s weather on Saturday we would have had another record.
“But I learnt a long time ago not to get disappointed with the weather.”
Balmer said the league would spend the next couple of months planning ways to safeguard its finals series next season in terms of having more ground options.
The league was forced to play a final in the first two weeks of the series out of Warrnambool because the wet winter had left regular finals venues Reid Oval and Friendly Societies’ Park unsuitable.
He said the concept of one game out of Warrnambool and one in the city had worked well but the league was keen to work with clubs to ensure it had three grounds in the outlying area and three in the city available.
That would mean upgrades to some venues and the league was keen to facilitate discussions.
He said there were several venues in the league that could be brought up to finals standard without major upgrades.
“We are looking at getting three grounds in town and three out of town up to standard for finals,” he said.
“We have a bit of work to do. Just to have the grounds available would be good. We got caught this year because of the weather. We want to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future.”