Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Opinion: Local support needed for events

11 comments
RUGBY STAR: Sonny Bill Williams made an appearance and gave away balls at the Rotorua International Stadium. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
RUGBY STAR: Sonny Bill Williams made an appearance and gave away balls at the Rotorua International Stadium. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

I love you Rotorua, but boy you can be infuriating at times.
The weekend was chocker full of activities and family fun things to do with the World Invitation 240s Superstock Championships at Paradise Valley Raceway on Friday and Saturday and the Bayleys National Sevens at the Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
We are lucky enough to live in a city where it's always all go.
The powers that be have told us this is one of the best summers in terms of visitor numbers. We attract big events because we are good at running them. We have the infrastructure and the accommodation to cope with the floods of people coming to town.
Those behind the scenes at events like the sevens are slick and know how to run a top quality show.
The sevens was held in Queenstown for 10 years before moving to Rotorua in 2014. It was a huge coup for us.
But wouldn't it be great if we could pack the stands out with locals? While thousands still made the effort to catch the fast-paced action at the weekend, the crowd numbers weren't amazing.
Was the weather too good? Did people go to the lakes and nearby beaches instead? Were they at the superstocks instead? What would the crowd numbers have been like if Sonny Bill Williams wasn't there as a drawcard?
The organisers of the sevens can't do any more to attract the crowds. There was a fantastic fun area for the kids, food, drink and a good party atmosphere.
The prices were also pretty fair at $15 a day for adults, $5 for children under 15, free for children under 5 and $35 for a family pass.
All we can do is urge locals to support these events before we lose them. Raggamuffin ring any bells?

- Rotorua Daily Post

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