By Lucas DaPaz
Perth have claimed a massive coup with Australia’s biggest sporting event – the Rugby League State of Origin series coming to the new Perth Stadium in 2019.
The State of Origin Series is an annual best of three Rugby League Series between New South Wales and Queensland.
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett today revealed that the Liberal National Government had won the rights to host the second game of the series at the new iconic stadium through the Tourism Western Australia program.
“Holding a State Origin match at our magnificent stadium is a huge coup for WA” he said.
“Arguably, Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry is the Rugby State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons.
“We are expecting thousands of fans to make the trip west to be at the game and millions more will watch the live television broadcast, which gives us the opportunity to show off our transforming city and world-class new stadium to the rest of Australia.”
Mr Barnett stated that the State of Origin matches were the most watched sporting events on Australian television drawing an audience of 3.96 million viewers ousting both the AFL Grand Final (3.54 million) and Melbourne Cup (3.07 million) on viewers.
“The 2019 match will be only the tenth time in State of Origin history that part of the series has been played outside New South Wales or Queensland” he said.
“Having Perth Stadium means WA can now host some of the biggest sporting events in the world, which will have an incredible flow-on effect for the State’s economy.”
“For rectangular events such as this, high quality seats close to the action will be added as part of the customisation of the venue and this will increase the capacity from 60,000 to 65,000 seats.”
“ In a break from tradition, the Perth match will be played on a weekend instead of a Wednesday evening. This will give fans travelling from interstate the chance to spend the weekend in Perth, which will be a massive boost for the economy.”
39,000 people travelled to Melbourne for the second State of Origin game last year.
If 20,000 visitors travelled to Perth to watch the 2019 game, it would be worth $15 million to the Western Australian economy.
Mr Barnett said events at the new Perth Stadium formed a crucial part of the State Government’s strategy to grow the State’s tourism industry.
The Premier acknowledged Venueswest and VenuesLive – the recently named operator of Perth Stadium – as important partners in the deal with State of Origin.
“In the year ending March 2016, visitors to WA spent $9.3 billion during their stay in the State and we want to see that figure grow to $12 billion by 2020” he said.
“Events will help us reach that goal which is why in the recent State Budget, we committed $30 million towards bringing business, sporting and entertainment events to WA, including $19 million investment to activate Perth Stadium”.
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