THE only issue with this Saturday’s big game is not having a big enough stadium, Tamworth businesses say in jest, with strong trade expected from the NRL fixture.
The town’s venues are no strangers to hosting big events and Pub Group manager Craig Power believed the game would be a boon for hotels across town.
Mr Power said accommodation at the Family Hotel and Southgate Inn were booked-out for this weekend almost six months in advance.
Rosters were filled across the group’s venues and there are plans to keep the kitchens firing all day long on Saturday.
“All businesses in town will be doing their best to impress to give the town the best chance of making it an annual fixture,” Mr Power said.
The manager said the 5.30 kick-off meant he wasn’t expecting any “issues around alcohol” and licencees would know what to expect running a venue for big occasions.
He said the build-up was only positive and the only issue was “the stadium’s not big enough now”.
“It’s good to see it get used.”
Best Western All Settler’s owner Greg Johnstone said the event would provide an economic benefit to the town and hoped it would be a sign of things to come.
“There will be a benefit provided,” Mr Johnstone said.
“It’s great to have another day that’s got strong demand.”
He hoped it would usher-in more events to the city.
“But it’s only one day,” he said.
“I’d like to see more of these, it’s a good start and hopefully Tamworth can draw more of these events.”
Quality Hotel Powerhouse general manager Ben Davies said the match would prove to outsiders Tamworth was “more than just 10 days in January”.
He said the rooms at the Powerhouse were booked-out for Friday and Saturday and believed it was similar story across town.
“It’s such a good connection to have with the NRL and hopefully it becomes more than just a one-off,” Mr Davies said.
He didn’t think there was any reason why the city couldn’t host more large-scale sporting events.
“We’ve had the Waratahs, Country Eagles and the City-Country here,” he said.
“I couldn’t see and reason we couldn’t do it a regular basis, we’ve got the accommodation infrastructure.”
“There’s much more to the city, as business-people, we’re trying to make people realise the city is more than 10 days in January.
“We’re here all year round and there’s a lot to do.”
Where to see the stars
- Outside game time, past and present starts of the game will getting around the region.
- Wests Tigers will have a meet-and-greet with fans at Scully Park from 4pm on Friday.
- Past Newcastle Knights players will host clinics at Quirindi’s Number One Oval on Thursday from 4pm, followed by a session at Farrer on Friday from 10am.
- The Knights will also visit Ronald McDonald House and the children’s ward.
- The game kicks-off at 5.30pm at Scully Park.