Written on the 16 May 2014 by Jenna Rathbone

THE Gold Coast’s two national sporting codes are kicking big goals for the local economy with new figures showing an increase in visitor numbers from outside the region.

According to Gold Coast Tourism, around 50 per cent of ticket sales at Gold Coast Titans and Gold Coast Suns games come from outside the city.

Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter says sporting events attract visitation, extend promotion and bolster low periods throughout the year.

“Sporting events are a key driver of the Gold Coast’s $4.7 billion tourism industry,” he says.

Gold Coast Suns CEO Travis Auld says projected figures prior to the Suns launch in 2011 estimated 120,000 visitor nights a year to the Gold Coast with spending of $36 million.

“What is pleasing is we have met those estimates and more over the past three years,” says Auld.

“Purely from people attending games at Metricon Stadium, in year one we analysed those numbers and generated more than 160,000 visitor nights and spending of over $46 million.

“When Collingwood play here at Metricon stadium we get somewhere between 5000 and 7000 people travelling from Victoria just for that game and that alone generates about $5 million for the Coast.

Auld says industries to benefit include transport, hospitality and entertainment including theme parks.

“What’s important for us is that the visitors from interstate come to Metricon Stadium and 95 per cent of what they spend is with organisations other than the God Coast Suns,” he says.

Addressing a recent Women in Tourism event, Gold Coast Titans CEO Graham Annesley highlighted that success drives dollars and everyone likes to back a winner.

The former NSW Minister for Sport says the Titans strong presence in 2014 would lead to increased revenue for the club and the economy.

“The more successful we are, the more money others will make on the Gold Coast because there is no doubt when a team is playing well the more people go and watch. That is not just our fans but also the opposition fans,” says Annesley.

“They (the team) bring people with them, they bring families, fans, officials, even the teams themselves are staying in hotels, ordering meals and every dollar spent is an additional dollar that otherwise wouldn’t be in the local economy.”

Annesley says an estimated 5000 people have travelled to the Gold Coast from outside of the city to watch a Titans home game in 2014.

“When fans are determining whether to go to an away game, one of the obvious choices is the Gold Coast because they can combine it with a holiday,” he says.

The Gold Coast Titans have teamed up with Gold Coast Tourism to deliver stay, play and watch packages aimed at boosting attendance at games and driving overnight visitation and visitor expenditure for the city.

This follows the success of a similar campaign with the Gold Coast Suns and other major sporting events such as the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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