GROUP Three Rugby League chairman Wayne Bridge says at least 1000 more tickets will need to be sold for Saturday's NRL trial between the Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders at the Port Macquarie Regional Stadium to cover the group's $70,000 outlay to stage the game.
"So far we've covered about $45,000," Mr Bridge said earlier this week.
"So fingers crossed we'll get good weather and we'll get bums on seats."
Mr Bridge said most of the grandstand seating had been sold.
He confirmed the group wasn't receiving any financial assistance from the Bulldogs or the NRL.
"It's a Bulldogs' home game and originally it was going to be played at Coffs Harbour," Mr Bridge explained.
"However, that stadium is out because of an Elton John concert being held there this week. So it was decided to shift the game to Port."
The announcement was made in November. Mr Bridge said the group originally understood there would be some costs involved. However, he said it wasn't revealed Group Three would have to cover all accommodation costs and meals for the two NRL clubs along with the NRL-appointed referees.
Mr Bridge confirmed there had been no financial assistance from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
He said he was disappointed the NRL hadn't helped financially to at least ensure the group didn't lose money.
"We were hoping to get $20,000 from them," he said.
However, Mr Bridge claimed the NRL considered the game a commercial venture.
"I know the NRL is covering all the costs of the Parramatta-Penrith game being played in Bega as part of the bushfire relief. But this region was also hit hard by the bushfires," he said.
Mr Bridge said the group's plan was to split any profits from the game between the 18 senior and junior clubs in the area.
At the time of going to press ticket sales were approaching 2000. Mr Bridge said a crowd of 3000 would cover costs and provide the group with a small profit. Mr Bridge agreed this figure was attainable although he added the weather would be a factor. Two junior representative games will precede the NRL trial.
The program will start at 1pm with the NRL trial underway from 4.30.
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