Two of the Riverina’s biggest September sporting events are unlikely to clash next year.
We’re in discussions with the MTC around the clash and we’ll do our best to avoid that.AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons
The Ag Races and Farrer League grand final will not go head-to-head in 2019 after being held on the same day for two consecutive years.
AFL Riverina have put forward five draft options for next year’s draws and none of them see a clash between the Farrer League grand final and Ag Races.
It comes after promising talks between AFL Riverina and the Murrumbidgee Turf Club (MTC) in Wagga Wagga.
There is also an possibility that the Riverina League grand final could also avoid a clash with two of the five draft draws including that option.
AFL Riverina have asked the clubs for feedback on their preferred season start and finish dates but chairman Michael Irons said they hoped to avoid any clashes if possible.
“We’re seeking feedback on club’s preferred options for the start of the season and the Easter long weekend and we’re in discussions with the MTC around the clash and we’ll do our best to avoid that,” Irons said.
“Where possible we want to try and avoid clashes where we can.”
The popularity of the Ag Races has gone through the roof in recent years.
A record crowd of 6600 people turned out last month that saw gate takings and hospitality figures match the numbers from Wagga Gold Cup day.
MTC chief executive Scott Sanbrook said the club is keen to avoid another clash with football grand finals.
“Avoiding a clash is something the club has been wanting to work on for a while,” Sanbrook said.
“It can easily benefit both events if they’re on separate weeks and we would be even happier if we don’t clash with the RFL as well.”
The Ag Races is traditionally held on the third Saturday of September and is locked in to that date due to Charles Sturt University’s exams timetable.
Sanbrook said the growth in Ag Races has been incredible.
“Our crowds continue to build on Aggies day,” Sanbrook said.
“We’ve gone from 4000 to 6600 in the last few years and broke all records,” he said.