You definitely get the feeling that we have a big event on our hands. We have often said , perhaps with a slight bit of tongue in cheek, that the FIL 2010 Men's Lacrosse World Champonship will be the biggest sports event to be held in Manchester since the Commonwealth games in 2002.
However, with over 1,000 players and officials in the Championship , around 3,000 possible entrants in the Festival, some 40,000 spectators expected and an economic impact on the region of around £7,000,000 no-one is able to tell me which event has been bigger than Lacrosse will be.
What is really exciting is that the planning figures that we worked on 4 years ago are becoming more and more realistic . We are seeing continuing growth in international Lacrosse and it is exciting to here of Costa Rica playing Guatamala , and although these two in particular will probably not make it to Manchester it is certain that there will be 26-28 teams taking part. Equally exciting is that we set a target of 64 teams in the eight Divisions of the FIL Festival and it looks very much as if that number , at least, will be achieved. With nearly 10 months to go we have 45 teams registered to play and another 18 showing serious interest. The message is clear -if you want to be part of 2010 then you need to make sure that you have secured your spot.
Since the Official Event Launch in July we now have season tickets on sale at special "early bird" discount prices ; a range of World Championship merchandise for sale on the web and travel and hotel deals available through our travel partner ATP.
The real worry is becoming that given we have a big event on our hands can we actually make it into a great event which showcases top class Lacrosse, gives every one in Lacrosse the chance to enjoy a memorable lifetime experience and make a lot of money to reinvest in the game. It certainly can be done but it will only happen if we can get more money to invest in the event from funders and sponsors and enthuse a committed team of volunteers. Over the next couple of months we will be starting a drive to recruit the volunteer team we will need and which will be the key to the success of 2010 .
We do have a really big event on our hands and with a bit of luck and an awful lot of hardwork it could be a great event.