The Bay Oval will not host a semifinal of the Women's Cricket World Cup next year, with a lack of accommodation in Tauranga highlighted as the key issue.
The tournament was due to take place this year but was postponed due to Covid-19 and Tauranga has subsequently lost a semifinal match.
Due to other large-scale events taking place across the Bay of Plenty region in late March 2022, the semifinal could not be rescheduled at Bay Oval.
The economic impact will be lessened as the city will be full of visitors for other events but Tauranga will miss out on promoting itself to a worldwide audience, Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley says.
Seddon Park in Hamilton was set to host the other semifinal match, Bay Oval manager Kelvin Jones told the Bay of Plenty Times.
However, in December the ICC revealed the two semifinal matches would be played in Wellington in Christchurch respectively.
Jones said tournament organisers were keen to maintain the same schedule but it wasn't possible due to the Dragon Boat festival in Karāpiro in March 2022.
Though they missed out on a semifinal, it was not all bad news, Jones said.
"We've actually got the tournament opener which is arguably a bigger game in many ways. One thing we do know is New Zealand will be playing, so that's great," he said.
"While disappointed not to have a semi, it's a pretty good replacement, to be honest."
Tauranga City Council community services general manager Gareth Wallis is equally excited about hosting the opening match.
"With a significant global audience expected to tune into the very first match of the tournament, we're thrilled that we have an opportunity to showcase our beautiful city to the world and set the tone for this fantastic tournament."
Cowley said the city was never going to have enough accommodation to meet all of the demand over the peak of summer.
He said the critical challenge for Tauranga was to provide a strong events calendar all year round.
"The biggest factor for attracting large accommodation facilities was not the peak summer demand, but the viability of surviving a slow winter," Cowley said.
"There are fixed costs that they need to carry year-round, including the challenges of retaining their trained staff during the quieter months."
Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said events over summer often sold out all Tauranga's accommodation.
There was an average of 40,000 visitors per day at the Boxing Day test at the Bay Oval, meanwhile, One Love on Waitangi weekend had an average of 34,000 visitors.
"However, at other times our accommodation occupancy is approximately 40 per cent which is in-line with the national average of 39 per cent," Dunne said.
"In this post-Covid market, some types of accommodation such as backpackers are struggling whereas campgrounds are booming.
"New accommodation providers will look for sustainable demand across the year and future accommodation requirements would need to consider the types of accommodation we need to supply more to meet future demand."
In total, the Bay Oval will host seven World Cup matches, a quarter of all tournament games, compared to six matches when the original schedule was released.
It has been a busy summer for the cricket ground, which hosted the Boxing Day test between the Black Caps and Pakistan.
Next month it will also host a Twenty20 doubleheader between the White Ferns and England, and the Black Caps and Australia on March 7.
The jewel in the crown this summer was the Boxing Day test, however, Jones said.
"We literally could not have asked for more on that one, it just rolled so well for us.
"The crowd attendance, the weather, the way the game went, the wicket and the way it played, it just ticked all of the boxes.
"We've got a pretty good case if there's another [Boxing Day] test, we'll have it."