Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Parker fight takes another body shot

Just as it seemed things were becoming clearer regarding the Joseph Parker fight ... then comes news today that Auckland City's ATEED have decided against providing ratepayer funding for the fight.

According to the article, ATEED's contribution was expected to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The CEO of ATEED, Brett O'Riley said:
"While there is clear potential to generate international exposure if the fight is held in Auckland, we are unable to make a robust assessment of the potential of this event until the fight is confirmed to take place here and domestic and international television rights are secured."
It is a body blow to promoter Duco's chances of hosting the event in Auckland - especially since it appeared that it was banking on ATEED's financial support to make the fight happen.

Of the public funding possibilities, ATEED's support appeared most sensible on the surface from an economic perspective - the benefits of the fight were likely to be highly concentrated in Auckland - even with up to 50% of fight attendees hailing from outside the city (as claimed in the article). Auckland was also the most likely beneficiary of national and international broadcasts - although the value of this publicity is far from certain. Given that the length of time to promote the fight is shrinking by the day (the fight was believed to be scheduled for December 10), the ability to market and sell the fight becomes that much more difficult the closer we get to fight night.

O'Riley was also quoted as saying:
{I}it was not clear if staging the fight in Auckland would have "the desired outcomes of Auckland's Major Events Strategy" so the decision was made "not provide financial sponsorship for the fight."
It definitely looks like the fight has become a political hard sell - and without government backing it now stands as a true test of whether there is a market of sufficient size to make such an event commercially justifiable in New Zealand.

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