Coast kicking goals as four relocated AFL teams bring $5m boost

Four AFL clubs will move into quarantine hubs at two Gold Coast luxury golf resorts by the first week of June in a coup expected to inject $5 million into the tourist city’s economy.

May 15, 2020, updated May 15, 2020
West Coast Eagles will be among four teams temporarily relocating to the Gold Coast. (Photo: AAP Image/Gary Day)

West Coast Eagles will be among four teams temporarily relocating to the Gold Coast. (Photo: AAP Image/Gary Day)

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate confirmed the city had paid to lure the AFL clubs to the Gold Coast ahead of the AFL season, and revealed the city had also set aside a war chest to attract other major events away from southern capitals.

“You’ve got to have skin in the game and I love it when we can get teams away from Victoria to be stationed here,” Tate said.

“I’m delighted that we’ve got four AFL teams stationed here.

“The economic input to our city would be in excess of$5 million, but the best part of it is that you’re going to have people who are AFL fans down in Victoria, South Australia and West Australia who will marvelling at our weather. It’s the best promotion.”

AFL clubs will head back to training on Monday, with chief executive Gillon McLachlan announcing that the season will resume on June 11.

West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will relocate to Palm Meadows and Royal Pines golf resorts, just down the road from the Gold Coast Suns’ home ground of Metricon Stadium and in unrestricted travelling distance to the Brisbane Lions at The Gabba.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the mini-hubs would create huge exposure for the Gold Coast in both South and Western Australia. She said both markets were currently under-exploited as most of the Gold Coast’s domestic tourists were traditionally drawn from the eastern seaboard.

Tate said having the four teams train and play on the Gold Coast added promotional value to the AFL as well as the Gold Coast, which was already well-known as event savvy and fun.

“I think the Gold Coast brand and AFL brand are among the most positive branding in our country and putting it together has a multiplier effect and they will leverage off each other.”

Off the back of the AFL move, he said the city was going after other events, particularly events that had been hosted by Sydney and Melbourne.

He said the coronavirus-related cancellation of events across the country made it a very competitive environment once shutdowns and restrictions were lifted. The Gold Coast had been doing a lot of work behind the scenes and had allocated money in the June city budget to bring many events north, he said.

“We are ready to go … we have got to be out there in the forefront,” he said.

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

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