Local and international soccer fans are expected to pack Optus Stadium when Premier League powerhouse Chelsea Football Club arrives in Perth to face Perth Glory in July.
A sell-out crowd of more than 60,000 fans are expected to fill the seats at the arena for what will be the club’s only appearance in Australia on July 23.
“Football is hugely popular in our key Asian tourism markets including Singapore, Malaysia and China, as well as across Australia,” Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.
“This is a great opportunity for fans in those markets to visit Perth and see one of the most successful Premier League teams of the past 15 years.”
The match will be first international soccer club appearance at the stadium and the first time Chelsea has been to Perth since 1974, 44 years after the last visit.
It will also involve outside events, including open training sessions that will enable fans to see the players up close.
The event is expected to attract a significant number of interstate and international travellers for the match, boosting the state’s tourism.
“I expect Optus Stadium will be at full capacity for the match, providing a massive injection for tourism and hospitality businesses.”
“It will show them Perth is vibrant, right on their doorstep and the western gateway to Australia,” Mr Papalia said.
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said it was a fitting match between Chelsea and Perth, with one of the world’s biggest sporting teams playing at the “world-class” Optus Stadium.
“It is appropriate that the world game will take pride of place as one of the early major international sporting matches at Optus Stadium, as an indicator of the venue’s global pulling power.”
Former Chelsea and Socceroos player Mark Schwarzer said the club was “hugely excited” to be the first Premier League club to play at the new stadium.
Schwarzer, Australia’s most capped international player said he hoped visitors coming to Perth for the match would also stay longer to enjoy the city.
“There are thousands of passionate Chelsea supporters across Australia and south-east Asia,” he said.
“I’d encourage them to come and watch the team play at this world-class venue and take some extra time to enjoy the very best of Perth and Western Australia.”
Tickets will go on sale for the match on February 15.