Cavalry brings finals and exposure to Canberra
Adam Buschini, Ryan Stovall and Jeremy Barnes celebrate. Photo: SMP Images
Canberra will be broadcast into 40 countries - and potentially 40 million homes - in its centenary year after the Canberra Cavalry clinched hosting rights for the Australian Baseball League championship series on Sunday.
The club will work with the ACT government to ensure as many fans as possible cram into Narrabundah Ballpark for next week's three-game showpiece.
The Cavalry sealed top spot with an 11-6 win in Adelaide on Sunday in its final regular season game of the campaign.
The championship series, which runs from February 8 to 10, will be broadcast live in Australia on Fox Sports and a host of channels worldwide, including the Major League Baseball Network in the US.
Canberra Cavalry general manager Thom Carter will spend the next few days sorting logistical issues, including the prospect of temporary seating and ensuring they meet Fox Sports' requirements.
The venue safely holds about 1500 but the Cavalry is hopeful temporary seating could increase that to 2000.
''We've already held some preliminary discussions with the government that, if we hosted a finals series, as soon as we get to a certain number [of ticket sales] we will talk about bringing more bleachers in,'' Carter told The Canberra Times on Sunday night.
''We sent out a form to members so they could reserve their seats and we've had about 200 do that, now we're reaching out to our great fan base who aren't members.
''For us, let's get to 1500 first and make sure we sell as many tickets as possible to Canberra folk. Sydney are playing in the preliminary final and we don't want them to invade our stadium if we end up playing them in the championship.
''We'll have a huge amount of people who will watch these games in the Far East, into the US and Canada and South America.
''We're very excited about showcasing Canberra to the world, the great thing is we'll show off Canberra baseball and the city in the second month of its centenary.''
Carter said he plans to meet with Fox Sports officials in Canberra on Tuesday to discuss any logistical issues that may need to be resolved before the series begins.
''We'll be meeting with them down here because it's an 11-camera shoot, it's going to 40 countries and 40 million homes,'' Carter said.
''They'll be down here to look at how they go about doing that, and the equipment they'll need to do that.
''Before last season we met with them and they saw nothing but good things, particularly with the government installing lights.
''I think there will be just a few minor tweaks here or there, nothing major in order to allow Narrabundah to be the location.''
After two lean seasons in the first two years of the league, the Cavalry want to repay its loyal fan base.
Sydney will host Perth in the preliminary final after the Heat beat Melbourne 11-1 at Barbagallo Ballpark on Sunday night.
Sydney's clash with Brisbane on Sunday was cancelled due to rain, but they are guaranteed to finish in second spot.
''Our fans have been so good to us, and bringing a championship to them is something we can do in return,'' Carter said.
ABL three-game championship series at Narrabundah Ball Park, February 8-10.
Tickets available at www.canberracavalry.com.au/tickets
Reserved: $25 adults, $20 children
General admission: $20 adults, $8 children