Ballina Cup bet paying off as race day moves to Thursday
IT ALREADY appears the move back to a Thursday race day for the Ballina Cup has been a winner.
The 101st Ballina Cup, sponsored by The Slipway Hotel, will be held tomorrow, following three years of the race day and its associated part-day public holiday being held on a Friday.
The Ballina Jockey Club's general manager, Matthew Bertram, said there had been an increase in pre-sold tickets on last year, and marquee site bookings had doubled from last year.
Ticket sales for the jockey club's own marquee were 50% up on the previous year two weeks out from the event.
"I think it will be a big thing," Mr Bertram said.
The anniversary of the centenary of the running of the Ballina Cup only saw 2000 people come through the gate, and poor attendances at school due to the part-day public holiday.
That led to calls for the public holiday to be scrapped and the event moved to a weekend.
At the time, Ballina mayor David Wright thought it unlikely the holiday would be approved this year.
However, Ballina Shire Council backed the part-day holiday, with a return to a Thursday race day, and it was earlier this year gazetted by the State Government to be in force from noon to 6pm.
Mr Bertram said there had been much more public interest in the Ballina Cup this year on last year.
He said the day, through the jockey club's spend alone, generated $300,000 for the local economy.
The race day this year will feature a pamper tent and a "lawn party" featuring live music by Southern Cross University band Inside Outlaw.
Fashions on the Field also will be a feature of the race day.
Gates open at 11am.
Tickets pre-sold through The Slipway Hotel and jockey club cost $15, or $20 on the day at the gates.
The hotel has its own marquee and tickets can be bought at the River St pub, which will have entertainment that night.