Harrup Park in Mackay hosted the Heat and Melbourne Stars in two fixtures under-lights over the weekend, the first time an official BBL or WBBL game has been played in regional Queensland.
Records were set for the highest attended Brisbane Heat stand-alone WBBL matches, with crowds of 3,657 and 4,138 witnessing T20 action of the highest quality on Friday and Saturday.
The Harrup Park fixtures were held by the Heat in partnership with the Mackay Regional Council as part of the club’s commitment to engage fans from regional communities and grow the sport across the state.
Brisbane Heat General Manager Andrew McShea paid tribute to the support the club received in Mackay and the local council’s work in helping to bring the matches to the region.
“The crowds and support we saw in Mackay has certainly vindicated our decision to bring these games to Harrup Park.
"To see so many fans wearing Heat jerseys and creating an exciting atmosphere at the ground will live long in the memories of our players, many of whom hail from regional Queensland.
“We will no doubt see the true success of these matches in years to come when the young girls and boys who got the opportunity to meet their cricketing heroes continue to play the game and aspire to one day pull on the Heat jersey.
“Events like these don’t happen without the support of the local community, and we enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Mackay Regional Council and look forward to coming back in future seasons.”
Mayor Greg Williamson said council was a proud supporter of the WBBL double-header through its Invest Mackay Events Attraction Program.
"The community really embraced this event and turned out in numbers to watch some of the nation's top female cricketers in action,'' he said.
"Mackay has been cementing its reputation as a regional cricket capital of Australia, with the help of the wonderful facilities at Harrup Park, and this is another feather in the cap of our region.
"Congratulations to all involved."
On the field, the Heat continued a push towards the WBBL’s semifinals after recording one win and one loss over the weekend to sit third on the competition ladder with four games still to play.
The club will travel to Sydney on Wednesday to face the fourth played Sixers in two matches, including a double header with the club’s BBL team at the SCG on Thursday.