Rabbitohs to stay in Coffs
NEGOTIATIONS are under way to make Coffs Harbour the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ home away from home well into the future.
With the success of Saturday night’s pre-season NRL trial with the Gold Coast Titans, Coffs Harbour City Council is keen to extend its contract with the club.
South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson has reaffirmed the Bunnies’ commitment to the city, saying they are “here for the long term.”
The council’s economic development manager Jenny Oloman said discussions are under way to extend the three-year contract which expires in 2011.
“The Titans are set to return next February for another pre-season trial with South Sydney at the Coffs Harbour International Stadium and as the crowd on Saturday night showed, the Gold Coast also has a strong following locally,” Ms Oloman said.
“The big long-term goal is extending the Rabbitohs’ association with Coffs Harbour.”
The council reported that 3500 prebooked tickets were sold up until Friday while the grandstand was sold out.
Combined with almost 2000 ticket sales at the gate on the night, the official crowd figure was thought to have been well in excess of 5000 people.
Council says the crowd easily exceeded the turn-out to the Souths Penrith trial last season.
Saturday night’s attendance is thought to be the third largest crowd in the stadium’s history outside of the trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the Gold Coast and the City-Country Origin match in 2007.
Adding to the economic spin-off, South Sydney’s major sponsors DeLonghi held its national conference in town last week, while several bus loads of supporters travelled to the game from Sydney and the Gold Coast.
Souths players will visit the coast again during the year as part of the Souths Cares program, while the whole team will go into camp at Pacific Bay again in December.