The Gold Coast will host one of the NRL’s showpiece events in 2020 after a series of negotiations with the State Government for more sporting content recently.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today announced the State Government had secured the All Stars match between the Australian Indigenous and New Zealand Maori teams for Cbus Stadium on 22 February, 2020.
“Major events pump millions into our economy and support local jobs. That’s why we’re negotiating to lock in more sporting content for the Coast – to support local businesses and grow the tourism industry,” she said.
“The All Stars concept was originally launched on the Gold Coast in 2010 and has grown to become an important part of the NRL’s calendar.
“This announcement comes off the back of a hugely successful inaugural NRL Magic Round in Brisbane in May where almost 50,000 fans travelled to Brisbane for the event – yet more proof that footy fans will travel to Queensland to watch quality rugby league.”
Ms Jones said the All Stars clash complemented a rich calendar of Indigenous celebrations across Queensland including the Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival, Quandamooka Festival, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival.
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the game would generate more than 20,000 visitor nights and $4 million for the Gold Coast’s tourism economy.
“New Zealand is a vital tourism market for the Gold Coast. This match will appeal to Kiwi footy fans which we know will have a flow-on effect for tourism operators,” she said.
“We know that when tourism is booming, local businesses on the Gold Coast benefit. Events like this are important to growing this industry.
“When people bring their families for the footy they often stay for a holiday and return to the Coast in the future. That’s exactly what we want when thousands of interstate and international tourists arrive for the All Stars clash in February.”
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said today’s announcement would inspire a new generation of indigenous footy players.
“Through Activate! Queensland the State’s first 10 year sport and active recreation strategy, the Palaszczuk Government will give more Queenslanders the chance to play footy, by overcoming barriers to participation,” he said.
“We’ll achieve our goals through strategic investment and partnership with the QRL and its grassroots clubs, and by ensuring obstacles like remoteness or income aren’t stopping kids from playing.
“As part of our plan, it’s critical that government ensure that young indigenous kids can see, for their own eyes, a pathway to success, and the All Stars concept does that.”
Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates said she was very pleased to welcome this great match back to the city.
“It has become a must-watch event on the NRL calendar and we couldn’t be more proud to host it here,” Ms Gates said.
“With the projected economic impact for the City in the millions this is another example of the Gold Coast again showing we are a true sports event destination.”
Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council Chair, Katrina Fanning thanked the Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast for their support of the All Stars return to the Gold Coast in 2020.
“This will be a wonderful occasion and one of the first rugby league events for the year, helping generate increased tourism and investment opportunities for south-east Queensland fans,” Ms Fanning said.
“The All Stars concept goes well beyond the on-field matches and I look forward to celebrating our Indigenous and Maori cultures together in February.”
Two showpiece games – both a men’s and women’s All Stars match – will be played.
The NRL will also stage various community events across the Gold Coast in the week leading up to the event including school visits and a youth summit.