Afternoon grand final likely to stay: BFNL chief

A BENDIGO Football Netball League night grand final is unlikely in the near future, according to league chief executive Steven Oliver. 

BFNL chairman Paul Byrne and Oliver have indicated in the past they’d like clubs to consider a night grand final in the future.

However, the resounding success of last Saturday’s BFNL grand final day makes it hard for the league to switch its premier event to an evening timeslot. 

A crowd of more than 8500 paid a league record gate of more than $66,000 to watch the three football and five netball grand finals at the QEO.

“We couldn’t have scripted it any better,’’ Oliver said yesterday.

“A big crowd, perfect weather and exciting finishes to the senior football and A-grade netball finals.

“There were no issues with crowd behaviour... everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything better. It will be hard to top next year on and off the field.”

Oliver has been a supporter of the BFNL trying a night grand final.

“It’s a year-to-year proposition,’’ he said.

“You only have to go back a couple of years, or even last year, and see grand final crowds were down a bit.

“This year everything went well. We’ll continue to disucss it (a night grand final), but at this stage I’d suggest it would be hard to change the format in the near future.”

Oliver said night finals in the first three weeks of this year’s finals series were popular.

“We haven’t got the overall figures yet, but our crowds were up going into the preliminary final,’’ he said.

“Grand final numbers were certainly up as well.

“We were fortunate through the finals series to have good weather.

“We’ll undertake our reviews and look at what worked and what didn’t.

“Overall, I don’t think there’ll be much we need to change for next year.”

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