Record numbers for this year's Junior State Cup
IT'S a record - this year's Junior State Cup will be the biggest yet with organisers already looking to grow the event another 50% in the coming years.
As the deadline for nominations closed, 203 teams had signed up to contest the touch football carnival in Hervey Bay from July 11, which is 23 more teams than last year.
That means about 7500 people will be dining out in our restaurants, shopping in our stores and filling up fuel at petrol stations during the three days.
There's no question the benefits for local businesses are enormous, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy, but can the Fraser Coast sustain the tournament's growth?
Fraser Coast Opportunities tourism manager Robbie Cornelius was adamant they could meet the needs of competitors, families and officials, but admitted accommodating for an extra 1000 people than last year would be their greatest test.
"Based on the research we've done we've calculated across the Fraser Coast region around on average 12,000 beds available through commercial accommodation providers," he said.
"No doubt there will be some competitors staying with friends and relatives, so certainly there is a fair bit of capacity there, but there have been instances in the past competitors have had to travel to as far as Childers to be able to find some suitable accommodation.
"We have to take that into account and need to ensure we can manage the traffic and demand for not just this event but future events as well.
"That also takes into account not only accommodation providers but also general infrastructure as well.
"From a town planning perspective all those potential issues need to be taken into account to ensure we're ahead of the game as far as hosting future large-scale events are concerned."
The Junior State Cup is arguably the biggest individual sporting event on the Fraser Coast and continues to grow in popularity, reflected by the increase in the number of teams coming from touch football associations in south-east Queensland.
Queensland Touch Football general manager Gary Madders said reaching the 200 mark was a milestone they had been working on since Hervey Bay first hosted the event in 2011.
Hervey Bay has the rights for the event until 2017, but with the Townsville and Cairns markets still untapped, Madders felt they had a terrific opportunity to grow the tournament by another 100 teams.
"There's room for growth," he said.
"Hervey Bay has lifted the standard of it (Junior State Cup) and for someone to take it off Hervey Bay they would have to come up with a good package that meets all that criteria (safe environment, lots of fields, close accommodation and significant amounts of parking).
"At the moment there is nobody that could pull that off."