THEY were two of the biggest football events ever witnessed in Sydney – and now the back-to-back visits to Stadium Australia by English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC have been recognised for their huge contributions to sport and tourism in Australia.
Stadium Australia – in conjunction with the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW – has received three major awards for the delivery and presentation of the football blockbusters that were part of a week-long celebration of sport in Sydney.
Stadium Australia Group Managing Director Daryl Kerry accepted the trifecta of trophies on behalf of the Stadium Australia team and Destination NSW at a glittering 2015 Australian Event Awards Ceremony at Sydney’s Doltone House on Tuesday 17 November.
Stadium Australia received trophies for:
- Australia’s Favourite Event (as chosen by the public) for the Tottenham Hotspur tour of Sydney in late May, including the clash between Spurs and Sydney FC at Stadium Australia in front of 71,549 fans;
- Best Sporting Event for the match between English Premier League champions Chelsea FC and Sydney FC at Stadium Australia on 2 June that attracted 83,598 fans – the highest attendance for a football game in NSW since the Men’s Football Final at the 2000 Sydney Olympics;
- Best Achievement in Marketing & Communications for the Tottenham Hotspur tour of Sydney.
For the full list of 2015 Australian Event Awards winners, click here.
In accepting the night’s major award – Australia’s Favourite Event of 2015 – Mr Kerry said: “We need to thank Destination NSW for the huge role they played in this event – from the commencement of negotiations to the delivery of a complete Sydney fan-engagement tour.
“Events such as these would not happen without the support and vision of Destination NSW – and in particular their CEO Sandra Chipchase.
“When we commenced negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur, they announced their intention to do everything they could to make Sydney a Tottenham town.
“From the moment their superstars arrived, fan engagement reached new heights. They got out and about in Sydney to meet the fans, and the entire Spurs team climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge with these images beamed globally, along with world-first bridge pylon projections, as part of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.”
Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy said: “To be named as Australia’s Favourite Event of 2015 is testament to the great work that took place behind the scenes from our staff and players, and our partners at Stadium Australia and Destination NSW who all made this visit such a success.
“This would also have not been possible without the tremendous support we received from our fans throughout our time in Sydney, ensuring it was a memorable experience for everybody involved.”
The Tottenham game was part of a week-long festival of sport at Stadium Australia, which also featured the opening State of Origin rugby league game and a visit by fellow English Premier League giants, Chelsea.
In total, more than 250,000 fans turned out for the #WeekOfBlockbusters at Stadium Australia, which ran in tandem with Vivid Sydney.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase said: “I congratulate my team at Destination NSW and our partner Stadium Australia and thank the NSW Government for its support. We are delighted that our combined efforts have been recognised at the Australian Event Awards.”
Announcing the award for Best Sporting Event of 2015 for Chelsea FC v Sydney FC, the event judges said it had been a remarkable achievement by Stadium Australia, Destination NSW and Chelsea to deliver the event in a planning timeframe of just 58 days.
Mr Kerry said: “Chelsea flew out of London just 48 hours after securing the English Premier League title and they brought the celebrated EPL Trophy with them to Sydney, which added to the spectacle. We will all long remember the night English Premier League Champions Chelsea played Sydney FC in front of a full house at Stadium Australia.”
Chelsea FC’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Mr Adrian New, said: “Chelsea FC is honoured and delighted that our match versus Sydney FC at Stadium Australia has been recognised as the Best Sporting Event of 2015.
“This award is in consequence of the tremendous work put in by all of the staff at Stadium Australia to stage the event and the amazing passion of the 83,598 fans who turned up on the night to cheer on the EPL Champions. We look forward to visiting the wonderful city and people of Sydney again soon.”
Mr Kerry paid tribute to Sydney FC and the vision shown by chairman Scott Barlow, as well as thanking the competing EPL clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC for embracing the Sydney visits.
Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow said: “We are honoured to have been a big part of these two historic events which brought Australian football and Sydney FC to the attention of the football world.
“To have our games named as Australia’s Favourite Event and the Best Sporting Event of 2015 is a remarkable achievement for the preparation and organisation we put in to running these games.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate our partners Stadium Australia and Destination NSW and the staff, players and fans of Sydney FC for the work they put in to ensuring this success.”