The campaign for mining magnate Clive Palmer to watch Sunday’s WNBL grand final at Bendigo Stadium has cleared a logistical hurdle.
MyJet Charter managing director Chris Richards has offered a corporate jet to fly the Townsville Fire benefactor to the Bendigo Spirit’s home game.
The Bendigo-based charter operator has one of the few corporate jets in Australia that can land at Bendigo Airport.
“The runway at Bendigo isn’t long enough for a large jet like Clive’s to able to land. The closest airports he could touch down at are Essendon or Mildura,” Mr Richards said.
MyJet would fly Mr Palmer from those airports or Sydney if he agrees to come to the game.
The charter company is a major sponsor of the Spirit and Mr Palmer has also been invited to be a guest in the company’s corporate box at the match.
Mr Richards said the “Bring Clive to Bendigo” campaign was in good humour and a good way to promote Bendigo.
“It’s a bit of fun and anything that exposes Bendigo to the rest of Australia is good for Bendigo business and it’s good for Bendigo sporting teams,” he said.
“If the professional sporting teams are going to survive long term they need to get national sponsors and this sort of activity puts Bendigo on a national stage.”
MyJet’s offer is the latest development in a social media campaign started by the Fire to get Mr Palmer to attend the grand final.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell has laid down a challenge to the billionaire to be mayor for a day if he attends and Townsville wins.
He would have to wear Bendigo Spirit colours in Townsville if the home team gets up.
Mr Palmer tweeted on Wednesday he hoped to attend the grand final.
Meanwhile, the Spirit is urging people who have missed out on tickets to the big game to put their names on a waiting list.
The Spirit expects to have about 350 tickets left over from Townsville’s and Basketball Australia’s allocations and in two temporary corner stands.
There are about 250 tickets being held for people on the waiting list. Construction began on temporary stands at Bendigo Stadium yesterday to expand capacity to 3000 for Sunday’s game.
To get on the waiting list, visit the Bendigo Stadium box office or call 5440 6214.