By ERWIN CHLANDA
Entries for the Masters Games starting on the weekend are likely to be on par with 2012, 2010 and 2008, but still well below the pre Global Financial Crisis event in 2006.
Games organiser Jim Lawrie says about 1800 competitors from out of town and 2800 locals are expected to take part.
He says the closure of some hotels has been a dampener, although there are still some rooms available.
And the cessation of Tiger flights have been a big disincentive, he says.
Qantas says it has a “great range” of low-cost flights, such as RedE deals, but they are still around double of what Tiger was charging.
The airline said today it does not have any special promotions for the games. “Based on current availability, the best fares are” (Oct 10, return Oct 19): From Sydney $1275.34, from Melbourne $1338.39 and from Adelaide $1284,86.
Mr Lawrie says many people, including past competitors, have been in touch with the organisers, regretting that economic circumstances are stopping them from coming, and expressing their fondness of the town and its people.
PHOTO: Jason Eecen leads the field in a heat of the Australian BMX nationals just concluded in Alice Springs. Senior riders will now be taking part in the Masters Games. PHOTO: Philip Drummond, Live For This.