HAVING hosted more than 1.6 million fans at 50 events last year and all seven Sydney games of the phenomenally successful AFC Asian Cup through January, Stadium Australia – Sydney’s Olympic stadium – has today welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment to significantly increase funding for major events in NSW from 2015, subject to being re-elected.
NSW Premier, Mike Baird, and the Minister for Tourism & Major Events, Troy Grant, this week announced the NSW Government’s intention to continue to work with organisations such as Stadium Australia Operations – the managing company of Stadium Australia – to implement its NSW Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan aimed at bringing even more major events to Sydney, and especially Greater Western Sydney.
Minister Grant thanked Stadium Australia for its significant ongoing contribution to the NSW tourism and events sector, which is worth $33 billion to the NSW economy and 158,000 direct jobs.
He said if re–elected, the Baird Government would commit an additional $123.35 million to secure more major events in NSW and boost visitor expenditure by an estimated $481 million. This additional $123.35 million would represent a 25 per cent budget boost for Destination NSW and would bring the State’s total tourism and major events spend to over $643 million. The Government has also pledged $22 million more for Greater Western Sydney.
Stadium Australia Managing Director, Mr Daryl Kerry, said the Government should be congratulated on its commitment to continue to attract major events for Sydney and NSW, and especially for recognising the importance of Greater Western Sydney – the fastest growing community in Australia.
“Sydney is a major events city and it is fortunate to have an Olympic stadium that – with the support of the NSW Government in attracting major events – generates millions of dollars each year for NSW, attracting many thousands of people to the city,” Mr Kerry said.
“A very recent example was the phenomenal success of the AFC Asian Cup, which attracted some 45,000 international visitors, many of whom attended the seven Sydney games at Stadium Australia, including the historic Final won by the Socceroos on 31 January.
“In 2013, five back–to–back sell–out events at Stadium Australia – two State of Origin games, the deciding Wallabies v British & Irish Lions Test, the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifier and the Manchester United All Stars game – attracted almost 500,000 people, more than 45,000 who were from interstate or overseas, and were worth $100 million to the State economy.
“Last year we witnessed more unforgettable events . . . the NSW Blues’ Origin series win after nine long years, the Waratahs’ first Super Rugby title win, Alessandro Del Piero’s emotional farewell against Italian superclub Juventus , and the Rabbitohs’ historic NRL premiership win after a 43–year wait.
“On the back of the AFC Asian Cup in January, the Stadium will host another series of blockbusters in 2015, including the opening State of Origin game, the Bledisloe Cup Test, the NRL Grand Final, huge music concerts featuring Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift, and other major events soon to be announced.”
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report showed that Stadium Australia contributes $331.5 million per annum in direct spend in the NSW economy. Since 1999, the Stadium has hosted 4.2 million visitors from overseas and interstate who stayed 8.6 million visitor nights. Mr Kerry said the Stadium looked forward to working closely with the Baird Government, if re–elected, on future major events for Sydney and NSW.
“It’s always great when you have a Government that is prepared to invest in major events and acknowledges the huge benefits that provides on a whole range of levels for Sydney and NSW,” he said.