Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
The Brisbane Heat have kicked off the new year in energetic style after the successful delivery of the inaugural New Year’s Bash at the Gabba on January 1 as part of KFC BBL|12.
A buoyant crowd of 23,269 – the Heat’s biggest home crowd since the COVID-19 pandemic – were treated to a spectacular night of on and off field entertainment that featured 433 runs, a 15-run Heat victory, and a musical extravaganza.
The Heat’s score of 5-224 on the night was the fifth highest in the history of the KFC Big Bash League and the club’s biggest, with the total highlighted by maiden BBL half centuries to Nathan McSweeney (84 from 51 balls) and Josh Brown (62 from 23) who was playing in his second game for the club.
The New Year’s Bash featured performances from pop dance group Peking Duk, Brisbane rockers Ball Park Music, and electro duo KLP and Stace Cadet.
The night included the StreetSmarts Innings Break fireworks and lights show, sponsored by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, alongside Peking Duk playing their hit High and dance duo KLP and Stace Cadet playing popular tracks Happy People and Energy.
The success of the New Year’s Bash follows the Heat welcoming 14,575 fans to the club’s recent match against the Sydney Thunder at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, another post COVID venue record.
Earlier in the BBL season, the Heat also delivered the club’s first men’s game in regional Queensland as a close to capacity crowd welcomed the Heat to Cazalys Stadium in Cairns.
To celebrate the New Year’s Bash, several Brisbane landmarks were turned teal on January 1 including the Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge, Kurilpa Bridge and Raddacliff Place, with the initiative achieved through event partner Brisbane Economic Development Agency.
The New Year’s Bash was also the second highest rating game of the BBL season.
The match had an average national TV audience of 744,765 tuning across Fox Cricket and Channel Seven with streaming numbers on Kayo still to be added in, plus a free to air reach of over 2 million viewers.
Broadcast numbers have remained strong across the competition with the BBL remaining the most-watched domestic sporting competition in Australia on a per game basis.
The Heat’s strong crowd and broadcast numbers follows several clubs reaching pre COVID benchmarks.
Brisbane Heat CEO Terry Svenson welcomed the return of the BBL as a summer staple for family entertainment.
“The standard of the Big Bash – both on and off the field – across the competition has been fantastic so far this season, and it has been wonderful seeing crowds return in their droves.
“We continue to be committed to delivering family friendly entertainment and exciting on-field play, so it’s very rewarding to see our fans respond positively and show their support for the team.
“The New Year’s Bash is an event we have been working on for several months, and the feedback from our fans, sponsors, broadcast partners and all stakeholders has been incredible. It was a wonderful night and something we hope we can build on for years to come.
“We’re also hoping Sunday’s win against the Sixers can be a launching pad for the remainder of the season and we can continue to see strong performances on the field and big crowds come through the gates.”
Svenson also welcomed the news of Cricket Australia’s recent media rights partnership with Foxtel and Channel Seven being extended, which will feature a revamp of the BBL schedule from the 2024-25 season.
“The feedback we have received from our broadcast partners on the BBL product this season has been fantastic, and we look forward to continuing to work with Foxtel and Channel Seven.
“As a competition we have listened to feedback from our fans, and we collectively feel a balance of 10 BBL games per club per season and five home games is the right one. This allows us to play more prime time games in the peak of summer holidays, making it easier for fans to attend and watch the BBL, and capturing what is great about the Big Bash as a family entertainment product.
“Thank you to Cricket Australia, Foxtel and Channel Seven on continuing our partnership that helps Queensland Cricket and all state associations invest into growing our game at a grassroots and community level.”
The Heat’s next home game is on Wednesday January 11 against the Perth Scorchers, followed by a Friday night clash with the Hobart Hurricanes on Friday January 20 and a family-friendly Sunday afternoon match against the Melbourne Stars on Sunday January 22.
Heat memberships and public tickets are on sale now through Ticketek for the BBL this summer.