Polo in the Park to stay until 2019
Tuesday March 20, 2012
Polo in the Park is set to stay in the borough for the next seven years after a new deal was struck this month with Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F Council).
The international polo event, which has been held in Hurlingham Park for the last four years, returns to Fulham this year on June 8-10, and will become a permanent annual fixture until 2019.
Polo in the Park has proved popular, attracting more than 29,000 spectators last year, 80 per cent of whom were either borough residents or local business owners. It has also been named the best sports attraction at the London Lifestyle Awards for the last two years (2010 and 2011), and is acknowledged by polo’s governing body as one of the world’s top tournaments.
Every year, 2,012 local residents receive free tickets and hundreds of school children are given the chance to learn about the sport by taking part in taster sessions, and attending pony parades and other related events.
The deal with world polo specialists, City Events Limited, has been welcomed by the council as a positive move that will bring economic benefits to the area and save the taxpayer money, as City Events Limited will continue to maintain, irrigate and seed the ground used at Hurlingham Park both before and after the three-day event. The company will also carry out all reinstatement works to the park at no cost to the council after the event has finished.
H&F Council’s cabinet member for residents’ services, Cllr Greg Smith, said: “Polo is catapulting Hurlingham Park into the sporting spotlight in London and is fast proving to be one of the most popular events in the calendar, attracting thousands of people to the park.
“The event has been a roaring success over these last few years and has really captured the imagination of local residents and pupils in nearby schools. We are incredibly pleased that polo will be coming back to Fulham to give our summers a kick-start each year until 2019.”
Last year, 84 per cent of residents said they would attend Polo in the Park again and 93 per cent thought the event was good or very good.
City Events Limited and the council will continue to work closely and consult local people and groups, and community organisations, such as Hammersmith & Fulham Rugby Club, the Friends of Hurlingham Park, and the Hurlingham District Residents’ Association.
This year’s MINT Polo in the Park looks set to be bigger and better than ever before, with double the amount of bar and garden space overlooking the field, more on-pitch entertainment over the three days – including horsemanship displays and a children’s sports day – larger spectator viewing areas and an improved children's zone. Six teams representing global cities will play in a 'round robin' format, with three games being played each day, and the final will be held on Sunday, June 10.
Tickets are on sale now, with many of the packages already having sold out. Residents living in the borough will be able to enter a random ballot in April and 2,012 people will be lucky enough to get a free ticket. Visit the website for further information in the coming weeks: www.lbhf.gov.uk.
For more information on the event, visit: www.polointheparklondon.com (opens new window).