From world-class sport to world-class music, Townsville North Queensland is cementing itself as a key player in the major events game.
Whether it’s “Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi, oi, oi” or “Up the mighty Maroons”, these chants will be echoing around our city for many years to come, as Townsville North Queensland cements itself as a major events destination. Between the Rugby League World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and an international cricket match, Townsville is quickly becoming the home of regional Australia’s biggest and best events. A new and improved stadium by 2020 is also at the forefront enticing event organisers more than ever. Did someone say State of Origin?
Townsville’s city leaders have recently been putting a strong case forward to the NRL to secure a State of Origin match in 2020 in the new North Queensland Stadium. Though the stadium will be much more than just football; this would be a significant event to be staged in one of Australia’s strongest heartlands of rugby league. Not only are city leaders getting behind this opportunity, but the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Opposition Leader, Tim Nicholls, are also endorsing Townsville as a potential Origin host. This game would deliver considerable economic benefits to an extensive local supply-chain of accommodation providers, hospitality businesses, transport services and much more.
Given the significant contribution that events provide the local economy and their ability to have direct and positive impacts on visitation, Townsville Enterprise considers events to be among the region’s greatest tourism assets. Not only do events inject substantial economic revenue into the host city, but they also add value to the destination and contribute to instilling a greater sense of community pride.
Townsville North Queensland has continued to demonstrate significant successes in the establishment, acquisition and staging of a number of events in recent years. This year, Townsville will host three rounds of the Rugby League World Cup and is one of the host cities for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Three Rugby League World Cup pool games will be played in Townsville between Fiji and the USA, Fiji and Wales, and Italy and the USA from 28 October to 5 November. Shortly after, a pre-Ashes international cricket match will be played between England and Australia A at Tony Ireland Stadium from 15 to 18 November.
Townsville is quickly becoming the home of regional Australia’s biggest and best events.
In 2018, preliminary rounds of the Commonwealth Games men’s and women’s basketball competition will be held at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre. Preceding these heats, Townsville City Council will be hosting a celebration of the spirit of the Commonwealth Games through a significant arts and cultural festival. “Festival 18” is a 12-day program that will showcase the region’s talent, culture and lifestyle to the world through music, theatre, comedy, food and art at Strand Park, Queen’s Gardens and Jezzine Barracks.
The demand for major cultural events is thriving in Townsville, off the back of the 27th annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s record breaking attendance, attracting over 16,500 revellers across the 10 day event. Two thirds of attendees were from interstate and collectively contributed more than 28,000 room nights and an estimated spend of $5.2 million.
Townsville Enterprise has a well-established process for both ‘building’ and ‘buying’ events through industry development activities and the Townsville North Queensland Bid Fund. The overarching aim of the Bid Fund is to attract new events to the destination that will drive overnight visitation and expenditure. Since its inception, the Townsville North Queensland Bid Fund has secured 35 events for the region, injecting an estimated $54 million into the local economy from 59,000 event attendees over 133 event days.
Some of these big ticket events that will be calling Townsville home include the 2017 BMX QLD State Championships and the 2018 Hockey QLD Masters Championships and Women’s Trials. The 2017 BMX QLD State Championships will be held in Townsville this month, delivering an anticipated economic impact of $5.3 million over the seven day event, with the Hockey Masters events delivering $1.7 million to the local economy.
For many years, Townsville North Queensland has offered a jam-packed line up of entertainment and events with sports, food, cultural and music festivals in full swing throughout the year. However, the region is now stepping up its game and transforming itself as a major events contender. Catalytic infrastructure, such as the North Queensland Stadium, is just the beginning of Townsville’s journey to be seen as a key player in the major events game not only in Australia, but on an international stage.