Opinion

Interest spiked, so dig in

by
February 01, 2018

Last year's Shepparton beach volleyball world tour event winners Damien Schumann (left) and Chris McHugh (centre) with rising Aussie star Phoebe Bell, ahead of this weekend's tournament.

The build is complete, so let the games begin.

Shepparton’s second Federation Internationale De Volleyball World Tour event begins today.

Greater Shepparton City Council is expecting about 15000 visitors this year, an increase of 6000 spectators on last year’s prediction.

Ahead of the event last year, the council said it would generate more than $1 million of economic stimulus to the region.

This year, the council is predicting a significant increase in spectators from last year, but has said that it would generate up to $1 million in economic stimulation.

The News often wonders where these estimations come from and how reliable they are.

And when questioned yesterday about how much the council had spent to host the event — it was unable to produce a figure.

This month, council’s tourism and major events team leader Anthony Nicolaci said it would assess the event’s place in the calendar and ‘‘work out whether it is value for money for our city to invest in events like that’’.

‘‘We’re going to be doing some fairly detailed analysis of visitors during this event, collection of data, to determine the economic impact,’’ he said.

With a lack of clarity as to the figures attached, and questions about whether the event is offering the city value for money, questions clearly linger.

The council has been asked about the cost of the volleyball and food truck events, but recently responded with the ‘‘commercial confidentialty’’ line.

‘‘Council does obtain sponsorship and grants for events to offset the cost,’’ a council statement read.

When promoting the event with former mayor Dinny Adem last year, Volleyball Australia chief executive Mathieu Meriaux said the event was put on offer to a number of councils.

But Shepparton ‘‘kept on saying yes’’.

We welcome the investment and economic attractions team’s initiative in attracting unique events to Shepparton and the can do attitude on show.

The News is all for the council attracting events that will give our region national exposure, attract serious visitation and create great options for residents to enjoy on the weekends.

But just so long as there is a decent return on investment.

We have no doubt the beach volleyball will, as last year proved an interesting offering to the events calander.

Who knows if the event will return again after this year, now the two-year contract has reached its conclusion, but the ball is in their court.

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