HAMPDEN league officials have defended the entry price for their bumper grand final day.
Vice-president Peter Manoel has disputed a notion the league had unfairly raised prices for the biggest match of the season.
The Standard yesterday reported the league reaped almost $60,000 at the gate on Saturday as fans packed Reid Oval for the football and netball showcases.
The figure smashed the previous Hampden league grand final gate record, set in 2007, by almost $10,000.
An online comment on the story slammed the $15 entry price for adults and questioned why the league charged more than the $10 price for other finals.
But Manoel said the comment was an unfair representation of officials’ decisions.
He said a grand final ticket had cost $15 for the past three years.
“The lead-up finals were $10 plus $2 for a record and $2 for a car,” he said.
“That’s $14 to get in. The grand final is $15, which includes a car and a record.
“We’ve only put it up $1.”
In defending the league, Manoel acknowledged many fans parked outside Reid Oval and made the short walk to the Cramer Street ground.
But he said the criticism also did not take into account pre-sale tickets the league gave to clubs to sell. “We pre-sell tickets to clubs who are participating,” Manoel said.
“They get them for $10, not for $15, and $3 for concession, not $5.
“If we didn’t pre-sell tickets we’d be up around the $70,000 mark.”
Manoel also backed a sponsorship deal with brewing company Lion Nathan, describing it as “sensational”.
The deal meant James Boag was the main beer sold at Reid Oval, which also received criticism.
Manoel said Lion Nathan paid “a five-figure sum” to sponsor the league and donated jackets and stubby holders to give away at the pre-match president’s lunch.
Prizemoney on offer at the pre-season Four10 Cup also came from the Lion Nathan sponsorship.
“You don’t hear anyone complaining that the grand prix is sponsored by Boags and I think the Melbourne Cup is sponsored by Boags,” Manoel said.