Another major sporting event has been locked in on the Gold Coast.
The Queensland Government has confirmed the world’s largest open lawn bowls tournament will be held here for the next five years, pumping millions of dollars in to the local economy.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the Australian Open, which starts this week, will continue in the city from 2020 – 2024.
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“When it comes to securing new major events that will support local jobs on the Gold Coast, we’re on a roll,” she said.
“The Australian Open is the largest open lawn bowls event in the world, attracting thousands of competitors and visitors from across the globe.
“Securing this event for the next five years is a great achievement for Queensland. It will pump millions into the Gold Coast economy and help to grow the tourism industry.
“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games showed the world that Queensland is a world-class events host. Now we have sporting organisations beating down our door to host events on the Coast.”
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said it’s a great legacy of the Games.
“It will centre around Broadbeach Bowls Club – one of many venues was upgraded ahead of the Games,” she said.
“A record number of competitors will be on the Gold Coast for this year’s instalment with more than 2600 entrants from across the world competing – more than 300 from overseas.
“This year’s competition will take place across the city, at a total of 13 venues, once again shining the spotlight on the Gold Coast for two weeks of competition and spectacular winter weather.”
Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple said the transition of the Australian Open to the Gold Coast in 2015 has been seen as a significant pillar in the development of this marquee-calibre event and the positioning of South East Queensland as the natural hub of bowls in Australia.
“The Australian Open has established itself as the world’s premier open bowls event, catering for nationals and internationals of all ages and abilities through the 14 disciplines contested, and is the sport’s most lucrative open competition, distributing more than $1.2 million in prize money during its five years on the Gold Coast,” Mr Dalrymple said.
“We are delighted to see this event remain on the Gold Coast for a further five years and hope to see more and more people experience this wonderful destination and the hospitality of our host venues as the event continues to grow.
“On behalf of Bowls Australia and the thousands of bowlers who experience the Australian Open each year, I wish to convey our thanks to the event’s Principle Partners, Tourism and Events Queensland the City of Gold Coast, for their ongoing support of this beloved competition.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said securing lawn bowls’ pre-eminent event was testament to the Gold Coast’s resounding appeal to hold major sporting events, such as the Australian Open.
“This event will capitalise on the legacy of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, utilising our world-class sporting facilities and in particular the upgraded Broadbeach Bowls Club,” Cr Tate said.
“Bowls is already hugely popular in this city and it’s events like this that are helping to give the city international recognition as both a vibrant events capital and a sporting destination.”