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Cop that Melbourne: Brisbane pips southern cities as Australia’s new sports capital

Brisbane has taken the crown as Australia’s top sports city, leaving behind the better-known Melbourne and Sydney on a global list compiled by BCW Sports Services.

Jul 12, 2023, updated Jul 12, 2023
The capacity crowd at Suncorp Stadium for the State of Origin Game 2 is a demonstration of the Brisbane's epic support of major sporting events. (Image: QRL).

The capacity crowd at Suncorp Stadium for the State of Origin Game 2 is a demonstration of the Brisbane's epic support of major sporting events. (Image: QRL).

Paris topped the list, a year ahead of that city’s Olympic Games. The top three have recently hosted a Games or soon will and the fourth and fifth, New York and Manchester, are home to famous sporting teams like the New York Yankees, Manchester United and Manchester City.

“Brisbane’s remarkable debut at the 15th position; nine years ahead of the scheduled games, offers the city unique opportunities to communicate its sporting prowess to the world,” BCW said.

“Maintaining a prominent position requires continuous effort and innovation, as evidenced by Tokyo’s drop of seven ranks within a year, and the decline of Rio de Janeiro to 74th place.”

Brisbane did not even make the top 50 sporting cities on the list in previous years, but during Covid the city kept major competitions alive and became the centre of major codes with NRL and AFL teams based in south-east Queensland and grand finals transferred to the city.

BCW slotted Melbourne in 23rd, down from 10th in 2022 and Sydney at 44th, down from 22nd last year. The Gold Coast came in at 86th, a big fall from a previous 26th, following its hosting of the Commonwealth Games, but no other Australian cities made the list.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said global companies and sports federations had told him that they saw incredible potential in Brisbane.

Brisbane Economic Development Agency chief executive Anthony Ryan said the city was attracting attention across sporting codes and event organisers as a host destination.

“Attracting a diverse calendar of major events to the city is a key priority as we prepared for Brisbane 2032, the biggest and greatest global event, in nine years’ time,” Ryan said.

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“We put on an incredible show as the hosts of the NRL Magic Round, Australian PGA Championship and soon the FIFA Women’s World Cup and have a proven record of delivering world-class events with an unrivalled visitor experience.

“Major events in Brisbane drive economic growth and stimulate strong business growth, flowing on to Brisbane hotels, restaurants, tourism operators and businesses.”

 

 

 

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