No NRL clashes on our books, but Orange is in a league of its own

THEY may not have the bright lights of the big-time sport headed Bathurst and Dubbo’s way this year, but 2014 will see Orange play host to some of sport’s “bread and butter” events.

The Orange International Squash Tournament and the Karting NSW Super Fats Championships will be held in the city this year and both will be huge, according to Orange City Council sport and recreation community committee chair, councillor Jason Hamling.

Negotiated via marketing group Sports Marketing Australia, both events will bring about a large windfall for the economy.

“Council is always on the look out for events. They don’t have to be the high profile events ... the bread and butter events like your junior championships are the good spinners for businesses,” Cr Hamling said.

Bathurst will host a Penrith Panthers NRL clash this season while Dubbo won the right to host the 2014 City-Country fixture,  and while Cr Hamling revealed council was actively in the hunt for future top flight rugby league, the junior championship events were high on the radar.

“Sports Marketing [Australia] do [all the negotiating] for us and it saves council a lot of time and money,” he said.

“Some of the events, the gymnastics, the junior rugby championships, the little athletics, the motels are full, mum and dad and the kids have to eat, they’re great for town.

“The NRL, they’re not off the radar, but the little things in the mean time are fantastic.”

In closed council at the March 4 council meeting councillors agreed to submit expressions of interest and pay hosting fees for two sporting events. 

The Orange International Squash Tournament will set council back $6000 and the Karting NSW Super Fats Championships $3000, with $2750 going to Sports Marketing Australia for every successful event headed the city’s way.

Cr Hamling said Orange would make that money back tenfold.

“It brings people to town, fills the motels, the restaurants. It’s a good money spinner for businesses,” he said.

“We’re always in the hunt for those types of fixtures and we’re talking to different people about bringing NRL trials and football games to Orange, but we’re just one regional centre.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it and we’re certainly putting our hand up.”

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