Even with the number of star local and international players on show, the opening weekend of the Georgie Pies Super Smash at Seddon Park saw an average crowd turnout.
The Northern Knights games were easily the most attended on opening weekend, but even they were relatively average.
From the sports box at the game, you could literally see the number of patrons in the ground decreasing every moment you looked up prior to the second match of the day commencing.
How the Georgie Pie Super Smash works is two games per day, one beginning at 3.50PM and the over starting straight after at around 7pm.
Both are good times, and twilight/evening cricket has always been a winner up until this point.
So why were the crowd numbers so disappointing at Seddon Park?
The Georgie Pie Super Smash was certainly well advertised, with several spots on radio and television, and good advertising on social media sites Facebook and Twitter. McDonalds have also done their part, giving away free tickets to the cricket with the purchase of a Georgie Pie.
Considering the patrons McDonalds gets on a daily basis, exposure to the Georgie Pie Super Smash event was strong.
In terms of the quality on the field, the opening weekend of this competition saw some of the finest players in the country on show, including many current Blackcaps, but even this didn’t bring many out to the cricket, perfect weather and all.
Jesse Ryder batting twice over the weekend failed to bring in a good crowd, neither did Daniel Vettori bowling on the rare occasion in the Knights uniform.
The incentives have been there, but the people just haven’t come.
Opinion on social media this week has been the problems with the turnout for opening weekend is the timing. Club cricket around Hamilton takes place on a Saturday, and the season is just beginning for that, but this still leaves the poor crowd for Friday night, Saturday evening, and all day Sunday without a real explanation.
Many could have gotten into the ground for free with a purchase of a pie from McDonalds, this is less than the $10 gate entry fee on game day, and Friday’s North/South game was also free entry.
The concept of the Georgie Pie is a good one, the cost to attend is reasonable, probably the cheapest it could go considering the amount of talent on hand.
Hopefully the crowds get a little bigger this upcoming weekend for Round 2.