THE Gold Coast will host three major hockey events over the next two years following the success of the Commonwealth Games, it has been revealed.
The deal, secured by Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Hockey Australia and City of Gold Coast, is expected to inject $3.9 million into the local economy and generate 25,500 visitor nights.
The revamped Gold Coast Hockey Centre will host all three events, starting with the 2018 Australian Hockey League Finals next month.
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The centre will then host the 2019 Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey Challenge from 30 April to 4 May followed by the 2019 Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships in September.
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the events were a legacy of the Commonwealth Games.
“We wouldn’t have been able to secure these events without investing in new infrastructure to host the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
“These events will be held at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre which was upgraded ahead of the Games to host elite, international sport.
“We’re investing in major events because we know sport helps to drive visitors to the Coast and grow our local tourism industry.
“These events will give fans a chance to relive the excitement of the Games and see some of their favourite hockey athletes in action in one of the most sought-after tourism destinations on the planet.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government was committed to capitalising on the success of the Commonwealth Games.
“Today’s announcement just goes to show the great legacy the Commonwealth Games has left behind for Gold Coasters,” she said.
“Major events are an important part of our strategy to grow Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry.
“In the last three years we’ve more than doubled the value of Queensland’s major events calendar – now worth about $780 million.
“We’re investing an extra $36 million in major events in this term of government to ensure this sector continues to grow.”
Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier said he was delighted to confirm the Gold Coast as home to the package of hockey events.
“Gold Coast proved itself as a wonderful host city and venue for hockey during the 2018 Commonwealth Games with great crowds,” Mr Favier said.
“We’re thrilled to be able to play such an iconic and important event at this excellent venue and excited about more strong support for hockey from the local community.”
City of Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates said the city was seeing the economic and reputational return on its investment in world-class sporting infrastructure by securing these major hockey events.
“We always saw the Gold Coast Hockey Centre as a legacy project that would ensure hockey remains a key sport on the Gold Coast beyond GC2018 and these three competitions are the realisation of that vision,” she said.
“Since the start of 2017, the City has facilitated 93 sporting initiatives including high performance training camps, state and national sporting events and exhibition matches, generating almost $40 million into the local economy.
“By working in close partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland our relationship has never been better and together we are scoring goals for the Gold Coast.”