Coffs sends out call for Jets
ONLY a previous booking of BCU International Stadium stopped last weekend’s A-League match between Newcastle and Melbourne from being played in Coffs Harbour, rather than Port Macquarie.
North Coast Football president Peter Rowe believes Jets management favoured switching the game further north and all the signs point to a competition round played here, sooner rather than later.
“They see us as part of ‘home’ territory through Northern NSW Football and have invited us to a seat on the board,” he revealed.
“Because the A-League remains so intimate the crowds we can bring are very attractive to them, especially if their own home ground problems persist.”
The Jets are locked into an uneasy alliance with Newcastle Knights over the use of Energy Australia Stadium.
“They are trying to resolve their issues but with the ground owned by the State Government, leased to the Knights, who sub-lease some elements to the Jets.
“Now the Jets have the view they don’t get a fair deal and unless a new bargain can be struck, I can see them take three or four games on the road which would open the gate to us in Coffs Harbour.”
Last Sunday at Port Macquarie, the Jets threw the gates open to the public with free admission, hoping to attract a reasonable gate while in direct competition to the SiS Half Ironman Triathlon.
Crowd estimates varied between 2000 and 3000.
“Maybe we could have added another 500 or so to that figure,” Rowe said.
“Trials are easier to organise than comp games when you have to cater for sponsors and bring the signage with you.
“However, with planning I’m confident North Coast Football can do a pretty good job hosting them and at least on the first attempt, we’d be willing to give it a try.”