Saturday, 23 October 2021

Sydney targets 10 major sporting events in next decade

SYDNEY: Australia’s most populous state announced ambitious plans Monday to host 10 major sporting events over the next decade, including rugby World Cups and the new ATP tennis World Team Cup.

An advisory committee headed by Rod McGeoch, the man who brought the Olympics to Sydney in 2000, has been set up to spearhead the drive. “We want to attract the world’s best and biggest events right here in New South Wales,” state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. “The benefits are not just for sports fans being able to see the best in the world, but for jobs and the economy as well. The 10 major events would inject at least Aus$1 billion (US$750 million) into the economy in visitor spend alone.”

Sydney has already been announced as a co-host of the men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket World Cups in 2020, and Berejiklian Monday threw her support behind Rugby Australia’s plan to bid for the 2021 women’s World Cup and the men’s version in 2027. Other events being targeted include the new ATP World Team Cup, which tennis chiefs announced this month would be held in Australia from 2020.

The government also wants to bring the UCI Road World Cycling Championships to Sydney in 2022, along with the women’s football World Cup in 2023, the netball World Cup in 2027 and the 2029 rugby league World Cup. Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle said having state government backing was “terrific news for our game and sports fans across Australia”. “We wouldn’t be in a position to mount competitive bids for these events in Australia without this type of government support and access to world-class stadia,” she added.

Rugby Australia is currently finalising its bid for the women’s World Cup, with submissions closing on August 10. Bidding for the 2027 tournament is expected to open next year. The NSW government has previously announced plans to rebuild or refurbish two of the city’s major sporting arenas — Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium — to ensure Sydney is a legitimate bidder for major events.

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