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Hurricanes Hit Launceston This Summer

03 June 2017

Launceston has secured its first ever KFC Big Bash League (BBL) match, at UTAS Stadium, seeing Tasmania unite under the Hurricanes banner this summer as part of what is set to be an even bigger BBL|07 and Rebel WBBL|03.

The fixture, a double header featuring the Hurricanes BBL and WBBL teams, is confirmed for Saturday 30th of December 2017 in what is expected to be a sell-out.

The strong relationship between Cricket Tasmania and local government has been key in securing the additional venue, setting strong foundations for the unification of Tasmania.

Cricket Tasmania CEO Nick Cummins acknowledged the Tasmanian Government, Launceston City Council and Cricket Australia leadership joining together in support of this tremendous initiative.

“The BBL was founded to bring new audiences and fans to the game of cricket, and that’s exactly what it’s done. Across Australia, average crowds last summer were at almost 31,000 per match, the fifth highest in the world of any sporting competition.

“65% of all attendees at BBL matches are families, and 46% of all attendees are females further proving the BBL is a great family friendly summer event.

“We are confident the Hurricanes will draw a sell-out crowd to UTAS Stadium, showcasing the club to a new audience and bringing with it a legion of Hurricanes fans from the north and north-west of Tasmania,” Mr Cummins said.

Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin said it has always been Cricket Tasmania's intention to take the Hurricanes to Launceston and provide strong foundations for the unification of Tasmanian cricket.

“It is exciting this has now come to fruition and we look forward to Hurricanes fans embracing Launceston enabling us to extend our audience and truly make the Hurricanes Tasmania's team,” Mr Gaggin said.

Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Events and Leagues, Anthony Everard said he was excited to welcome Launceston as a venue for next season’s Big Bash.

“We’re excited to be able to bring the WBBL and BBL to Launceston and applaud the Hurricanes for their leadership shown to grow the game and expand our fan base beyond traditional markets and demographics.

“This is designed to drive cricket’s strategy to ultimately continue to be Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians.

“We haven’t yet finalised the locations of any further matches, but we are working closely with clubs to explore options. A state-by-state approach will be taken to determine the most appropriate location to host this additional fixture, taking into account aspects including existing contractual obligations, participation and fan growth opportunities, and venue infrastructure.

As is evident from today’s announcement, we are working to see how we can also schedule Women’s Big Bash League matches in these new venues, once they are finalised.”

Premier of Tasmania and Tourism/Events Minister the Honourable Will Hodgman said that the Tasmanian Government was delighted to play its role in helping to secure the extra Big Bash game in Launceston.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said he is thrilled the city will be on the national stage.

“We can expect a significant boost for accommodation, retail, restaurants and local jobs as visitors use this event for an extended stay in Northern Tasmania,” Mr Gutwein said.

Bass MHA Sarah Courtney said the double-header with the Hurricanes’ women’s team will showcase elite sport at its best.

“It will attract valuable TV coverage which will focus millions of eyeballs on beautiful Northern Tasmania and highlight Launceston’s ability to successfully stage national events,” she said.

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said he was extremely happy that a deal could finally be reached.

"This isn't just about bringing the national competition to the North, there are many other benefits to be gained to businesses in the city and provide an excellent pathway into the future for up-and-coming cricketers in the Northern half of the state," Mayor van Zetten said.

Last season Blundstone Arena saw over 72,000 members and fans attend four matches with three sold out. 

Hurricanes fans are encouraged to register their interest at www.hobarthurricanes.com.au to receive priority access to a ticket sales period and to avoid disappointment this summer.

Remaining fixtures, opponents and match times for KFC BBL|07 and WBBL|03 will be confirmed by Cricket Australia in the coming months, with Hurricanes members the only fans guaranteed access to all Hurricanes fixtures this summer.

Members will receive information in the coming weeks outlining an exclusive opportunity to secure their Hurricanes Membership for the upcoming season.

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