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Cavalry fans pack the fortress

Narrabundah Ballpark is on track to become a fortress when the Canberra Cavalry hosts the Australian Baseball League Championship Series for the first time next week.

On Wednesday, the Cavalry expected the first two finals of the best-of-three series to be sold out by this weekend.

At this stage, ''the Fort's'' capacity has been set at 2100, but negotiations with the ACT government to expand that to a maximum of 3000 are ongoing.

If the first two games, on February 8 and 9, do sell out before this weekend it would mean the crowd could be entirely made up of Cavs fans, as Sydney Blue Sox and Perth Heat supporters are still unsure whether their team has progressed past the preliminary final stage.

Any visiting fans that do jag a ticket will be confronted by a sea of orange. The third game will only be played if needed.

There will be a ticket set aside for one visitor; Major League Baseball senior vice-president of international business operations, Paul Archey, is attending the series.


The US league is one of the key stakeholders in the ABL.

With a $5 million redevelopment of the ballpark in the pipeline, Cavalry general manager Peter Bishell was mindful of crowds at Narrabundah getting too big, too soon and jeopardising the planned expansion of the Fort.

He said capacity wouldn't be expanded beyond 3000 regardless of ticket sales.

''We are on track to sell out certainly the first two games, we have some negotiation to do with the venue owner, the ACT government, to try to increase capacity, but those negotiations are ongoing,'' Bishell said. ''It is conceivable we'll be sold out by the weekend.''

Extra mobile stands will be brought in, along with extra amenities such as toilets, and there are discussions with the government about additional parking.

Bishell wanted to make sure the impact on surrounding residents was minimal.

Fox Sports will broadcast the ABL Championship Series into 40 countries and up to 40 million homes using 11 cameras.

The network visited the Fort on Tuesday and has given Narrabundah the thumbs up. The Fort is one of the best ballparks in the league and has high-definition lighting.

''They have done every championship series and done a great job of it, but I think they can see the potential for this to be a really great advertisement for the Australian Baseball League and the city of Canberra,'' Bishell said. The three-game preliminary series between the Blue Sox and Heat starts on Friday, and the winner meets the Cavalry a week later.