by Kyle Evans, Jessica Lamb
UNCERTAINTY surrounding the host town of the upcoming Legends of League match may result in the game being held in Bowen for the second time in two years.
The topic gained traction in council last week following revelations that event organisers would rather see the game played in Bowen again, rather than Proserpine as originally planned.
After speaking with representatives from the organisation, Councillor Mike Brunker, said the organisation's policies stipulate that the game is held in the same place two years in a row to ensure maximum flow-on effects.
"Event organisers want to see the game come back to Bowen,” he said.
"While they appreciate council going to wide regional efforts, their policy is to go back to the same place for two years.”
Proserpine had been set to host the event last year, but was forced to concede after Cyclone Debbie ravaged the town's facilities and sponsorship capabilities.
Councillor Ron Petterson expressed disappointment over the organisation's stance, citing the reputation Proserpine had as a great rugby league town.
"I don't understand the logic of not switching the games around. We are one region, not two. The Brahmans have a huge following and a great facility. They deserve a chance to host the event.”
While League of Legends representatives don't argue that Proserpine would be a great spot for the match to take place, the organisation's policies stipulate that they prioritise areas where the game is struggling.
Whitsunday Brahman's manager Bryce Fraser said it would be a shame to see Proserpine miss out.
"It would be great to see it at Les Stagg Oval, a 'ready- made venue' considering Bowen hosted it last year. And especially after all the works that have been put into the grounds following cyclone Debbie,” he said.
"Last year it did draw a big crowd in Bowen and coincided with one of our games up there, if it coincides again this year, it wouldn't be a bad thing.
"We take it on our own back as the 'Whitsunday Brahmans' to share our home games around the Whitsundays.”
Vice President of junior rugby league club, the Bowen Seagulls Craig Snell said last year's event gave the game in Bowen a great boost at a grassroots level and would love the see that momentum carried on for a second year.
"We raised quite a bit of money last year, and as a result, were able to provide free registration for our under 6s, 7s, and 8s teams, so it worked out quite well. The game has been struggling in Bowen a bit so hopefully we can promote the game a bit more this year and go from there.”
Cr Brunker said, given the Whitsunday Brahman's senior teams success and that fact Bowen has no senior team to speak of, he would support the game returning to Bowen for a second year.
"It's not about who has best grounds. Football is thriving in Proserpine, so their idea is to go where juniors and seniors are struggling.”
"If Bowen was going really well they would probably go somewhere elsebut it's their policy to go to areas where the game is struggling, and I support that,” he said.