Cazaly’s Stadium is gearing up for a big crowd for tomorrow night’s AFL premiership clash which is precited to handball $2.5 million into the Cairns visitor economy.
Member for Cairns and assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy welcomed St Kilda’s return to the tropics to play Port Adelaide as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“This is a prime-time clash for AFL premiership points in Cairns and backed by the Palaszczuk Government,” Mr Healy said.
“We know national sporting events like this bring more visitors to Tropical North Queensland who support our city’s tourism economy.
“Accommodation and transport providers, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and tourism operators all benefit when two AFL teams come to town.
“St Kilda and Port have travelled from down south with more than this weekend’s playing roster.
“Both squads bring with them coaching and medical teams, support crews and fans.
“When teams come to Cairns, they’re always keen to explore the Far North’s many visitor experiences and that’s great news for tourism operators.
“Players and coaches are also visiting schools and football clubs to share the AFL’s magic and inspire local teams to be their best.
“St Kilda is chasing its sixth straight win this weekend against Port Adelaide who beat the Saints in their two encounters last season, so it’s shaping up as a big match.
“There’s no better place for football fans to catch a game this long weekend than Cairns.”
Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to supporting major events.
“Our It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar is helping to drive economic recovery for tourism operators across regional Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Cranksworx, announced yesterday, is another terrific example of the line-up of major sport and entertainment events building sustainable recovery in the Tropical North.
“We’re also investing extra in community AFL with the Cairns Eagles Junior AFL Club designing new female-friendly changerooms.
“The Eagles’ changeroom upgrade is supported with $50,000 from the $8 million 2020 AFL Grand Final Facilities Fund.
“The funding partnership with the AFL has so far delivered $2 million for 25 club projects across Queensland, leveraging $55 million when club co-contributions are factored in.
“It’s part of the legacy of The Gabba’s historic 2020 AFL Grand Final.”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said the game provided Cairns and Great Barrier Reef a national platform for promotion.
“What great timing to be hosting this truly national event which brings visitors up here to Cairns,” Mr Olsen said.
“The domestic market is now humming, flights have returned and we’re open for visitors from all around the country.
“It’s starting to cool down in Melbourne and people down south watching this game will see what a great place this is and start planning their holidays here.
“After a hugely successful staging of this game last year with only Queenslanders able to attend, this year’s event is set to make a big impact on Cairns.”
St Kilda versus Port Adelaide will be broadcast nationally from Cairns on the Seven Network and Fox Sports.