THE erection of one of the biggest marquees in the southern hemisphere on Bunton Park has forced a resurgent North Albury to find another venue for its main football training session this week.
The marquee arrived in Albury from Queensland — via Port Macquarie for a recent ironman event — and will accommodate more than 3000 people for the city’s first cage-fighting event on Saturday night.
The marquee has been assembled by a crew of 10 over the past two days.
Hoppers coach Jason Akermanis and his players will head to Thurgoona Oval tonight to prepare for their away clash against Wangaratta.
Click play on the video below to see the tent go up. (iPhone users go to video tab in menu)
They will return to Bunton Park tomorrow night and train on western side of the ground.
The cage was set up yesterday. Mixed martial arts competitors, Gustavo Falciroli, Peter Davenport and Corey Nelson will feature at an open training session at Bunton Park today.
Falciroli and Nelson will compete for bantamweight and welterweight titles at the Australian Fighting Championships on Saturday night.
Local Synergy Gym members will compete.
The marquee, which measures 50 metres by 65 metres and is almost 20 metres high, has been set up on the clubrooms side of the ground.
It is so big that it required development approval from the Albury Council.
That was granted a month ago.
Temporary toilets will be set up on the western side of the park.
GET IN ON THE ACTION
4PM WEDNESDAY - Public invited to watch an open training session inside the marquee with up to six fighters. (Bunton Park)
3PM FRIDAY - Public invited to watch official weigh-in of 20 fighters at La Porchetta (Dean St, Albury)
Bunton Park will be out of action for Albury-Wodonga Junior Football League games scheduled for Sunday.
But the ground will be given an extra week to recover with a bye scheduled in the Ovens and Murray Football-Netball League on May 24-25.
Promoter Adam Milankovic said about 1300 tickets had been sold.
These included large groups of fans from Melbourne and Sydney.
“Things will really crank up in the next couple of days,” he said.
“Tickets are starting to sell really well.”
Meanwhile, a recent lighting upgrade has been completed at Thurgoona Oval.