North Melbourne Club Chairman Ben Buckley is optimistic that their will be a large attendance in their Good Friday clash against Essendon, while also responding to Brian Taylor’s criticism of the club.
It comes after Taylor questioned whether North Melbourne had the ability to draw big crowds for blockbuster matches, stating that the Shinboners shouldn’t be allowed to play in the Good Friday match up if they draw a small crowd for this Friday’s showing.
“They are not blockbuster games if North Melbourne are playing in them .. if they draw a poor crowd on Friday, I’d be turning that game immediately over to someone else next year,” Taylor told the Superfooty Podcast.
Buckley disagrees with Taylor’s comments, while also arguing that blockbuster, stand-alone matches such as this need time to grow and develop.
“I don’t agree with that at all,” he told SEN Mornings.
“We’ve demonstrated over history we’re more than capable of drawing large crowds.
“We have demonstrated we can fill Marvel Stadium and we would expect another strong showing this week.”
“You can’t expect a tradition to be built overnight. If you look at the Anzac Day game, Queen’s Birthday and other major games, they’re built over time and we would expect that over the course of the next 10 years plus that we will form a very strong tradition of having a game on Good Friday.”
“I’ll also add that our reason for doing this game is not just about attendances and TV audiences, it’s about supporting the Good Friday Appeal and ourselves and the Bulldogs and St Kilda and now Essendon have been very strong supporters of that.”
Buckley believes that all signs point towards a strong attendance for the Friday afternoon match.
“I think we would expect to be in the mid 40,000’s. Obviously there’s the Medallion Club and corporate suites that round out the capacity of the venue which we have no control over, but we have seen really encouraging signs this week for general admission sales and reserved seat sales,” Buckley said.
“There’s been some really encouraging signs off the back of our form and the Bombers’ form. We anticipate that we’ll have a very strong crowd and sales have been particularly strong this week,
“What is important is that we continue to sell tickets during the course of the week and this is a great opportunity for us to promote the Good Friday Appeal.”
The clash at Etihad Stadium looms as a big match for both clubs, with North and the Bombers both seeking to keep their run of momentum going following victories for both clubs last weekend.