HAMPDEN Football Netball League is celebrating a bumper finals series which saw a 20 per cent attendance increase year-on-year.
Ideal weather conditions and the chance to witness a drought-breaking premiership saw spectators flock to Reid Oval in Warrnambool on Saturday, September 23.
The preceding three weekends of finals, with games at Camperdown, Portland, Terang, Port Fairy and Warrnambool, were also well received.
League vice president Troy Logan said an appetite to support local sport was reflected in the gate takings.
"We estimate our gates were over 20 per cent up year-on-year over the entire finals series," he told The Standard.
"It is a really pleasing result and I think when you have bigger crowds everyone wins - the host clubs win, it's great for the league and it's really great for the players, both netballers and footballers.
"It was aided by really good weather, particularly across prelim and grand final weeks.
"The only exception to that rule was probably that (wet) day at Terang (for the second semi-final)."
Logan said the league was grateful to see "remarkable" support from each club's fans.
"Grand final day the netball courts were packed to the rafters from quarter-to-nine in the morning right through to the open netball," he said.
"Particularly around that South Rovers' (ground) end (of the footy oval) there was a lot more people there this year than last year."
Logan, who is filling in for president Shane Threlfall who is overseas for a family wedding, said other highlights of the season included a return to interleague, success at the Netball Victoria association championships, the inclusion of an extra 13 and under grade at the Western Region Association Championships and an increase in netball umpires earning badges.
The league will hold its annual general meeting on Monday, December 11.
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