It's tricky and expensive to host an event such as the Black Clash 20/20, according to Duco Events founder/director David Higgins, amid grumblings from some sectors of the cricket and rugby fan base on ticket pricing in Napier last week.
"At the end of the day, you're always going to have a few people who're going to complain about television shows, events or restaurants," says Higgins, adding the majority tended to enjoy the entertainment at McLean Park last Friday. "According to all our anecdotal and formal feedback, a vast majority of the fans love the event."
So do the players, corporate types and the TV audiences for an event that raises money for player welfare and hardship of the two codes, he says.
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"It's a win-win-win-win all round ... so there's really no downside and I apologise if there were a few people who might not have got a signature from the stars," says Higgins, believing that's always going to happen because of time constraints in a "top logistical affair".
For someone who has been promoting events for 16 years, he says the Black Clash T20 is one of the happy outcomes across the various audiences.
"You know, we're always reviewing prices and so I'm not saying we wouldn't change the pricing," he says. "Let's find out if, with the price higher, most people will come along or do we try to lower the price to fill it up because it might not fill up as it depends on the size of the catchment that's interested."
With the weather looking ominous that day, he suspects they had got the price right although an economist may offer spiels of information to the contrary.
Higgins says they had sold around 7000 tickets for the inaugural event at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch, last year when juxtaposed with McLean Park flirting around the 6800 mark this year.
That, he argues, is a better turnout for Hawke's Bay who have a relatively smaller population when compared with the southern region.
"People who want to go will go to it, to some extent," he says. "We weren't targeting a full sell out because it's a niche event that innovatively merges rugby and cricket as two of our most biggest and most popular sports, to some extent, in their own way."
Higgins says the "unique" event tends to tap into the curiosity and fascination of the fan base intent on seeing how rugby figures will go against cricket ones.
However, he says with the promotional offer to entice fans comes the need to cover costs and tickets that go beyond the principles of supply and demand.
Those additional costs include ticketing, administrative, security, beverage staff and so on which balance "the uniqueness of bringing those elements together at a difficult time of the year".
Factor in Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan to travel from Sri Lanka and the likes of Richie McCaw and Sir Graham Henry to make time close to the peak holiday time, things start to fall in perspective.
"I can tell you, for someone who has worked on it for four years, it's a very difficult to do."
Higgins says his company took a financial risk to work on the concept for a year on full administration costs to make it happen.
"We manage to convince Television New Zealand to put it on free-to-air," he says, adding it was something TVNZ hadn't done for a very long time to woo what is promoted to be the "biggest cricket TV audience in 20 years".
"That wasn't easy either because there weren't any other broadcasters making those sort of offers so TVNZ went out on a limb and took a risk," he says, adding he had attended those meetings.
He accepts the free-to-air deal is contradictory to the cause.
"We're sort of creating happiness and entertainment in fundraising but at the same time we're making it harder to sell our own tickets, which cover the costs, so we've shot ourselves in the foot in some ways."
When considering those variables, Higgins says, it's very hard to stage such events on a one-off basis.
"Events that happen for a season fall into economies of scale but this is a one-off event... and in a way it's good because it happens only once in a year, it makes it something special but it's expensive to put on."
He thanks the Napier City Council for coming to the party and confirms Duco envisages returning to the venue. The Black Clash will return to Hagley Oval next year.