English Premier League side to play Gold Coast match
THE Gold Coast is to host one of its biggest ever soccer games in July in a much-needed boost to the tourism industry.
The Palaszczuk Government will today announce that English Premier League side West Ham United F.C. will play on the Coast as part of a package projected to deliver a $5.92 million windfall for the economy.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones told the Bulletin the EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup will feature matches between Crystal Palace F.C., West Ham United F.C. and Queensland's only A-League side, Brisbane Roar F.C.
Each club will play two games, with the side amassing the most points to claim the inaugural title.
West Ham United, 16th in this year's EPL, will play the Roar at Robina's Cbus Super Stadium on July 15, Townsville's new Queensland Country Bank Stadium is to host Crystal Palace against the Roar on July 11 and West Ham United and Crystal Palace will play at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on July 18.
Event insiders said the visiting teams would be at full strength.
The highest-earning West Ham players include Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko, who is on £115,000 or A$224,000 a week), England international Jack Wilshere (£100,000 or A$195,000) and Brazilian Felipe Anderson (£85,000 or $A166,000).
Manchester City FC played sister club Melbourne City FC at Cbus Super Stadium in 2015.
"This game will bring thousands of tourists to the Gold Coast and will support local jobs and local businesses," Ms Jones said.
"Tourism supports one in seven jobs on the Gold Coast. Events like this give a vital boost to this industry.
"West Ham have a huge global following. For a lot of people, this will be the only chance for soccer fans to see them in action on Aussie soil."
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon said the match would generate more than $1 million for local businesses and bring thousands of tourists to the Coast.
"Local businesses are struggling due to the coronavirus outbreak. That's why we worked really hard to get this deal over the line so quickly," she said.
"Soccer has a rapidly growing following in Australia - now is the perfect chance for thousands of Aussie soccer fans to book a trip to the Gold Coast.
"Don't just come for the game, stick around, make a holiday out of it and support local businesses doing it tough."
TEG CEO Geoff Jones said the company was proud to host a series of EPL blockbusters in Queensland.
"We are delighted to be able to bring this marquee soccer match featuring West Ham United to the Gold Coast and play at the build for purpose Cbus Super Stadium," he said.
"The EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup is an exciting opportunity for fans to witness in person an England Premier League club on the Gold Coast against the State's own A-League side.
Mayor Tom Tate said securing this calibre of football match was a great example of the Coast's sporting legacy.
"The 2018 Commonwealth Games put us on the international stage as a city that is truly capable of hosting world-class sporting events," he said.
"We're continuing to grow our sports economy through the successful delivery of our Sports Plan, which aims to make the Gold Coast a premier sporting hub at every level.
"We look forward to welcoming West Ham United to the Gold Coast and seeing a full stadium in July," he said.
The package of events has been secured in partnership with TEG Live. Tickets for all three matches go on sale at 12pm AEST on Wednesday, March 11, at www.ticketek.com.au.