Residents in Cairns love their rugby league, but rarely do they get to see the very best of what the game has to offer in the flesh, until now – with the QLD Government announcing that for the next 3 years, Cairns Stadium will play host to an annual South Sydney Rabbithos v Gold Coast Titans clash.
In news that will bring a smile to all rugby league fans in Cairns, Jann Stuckey, the QLD Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, was more than happy to make the announcement official.
“We know Queenslander's love rugby league and they'll love this announcement,” Ms Stuckey said.
“I am pleased to say with the support of Events Queensland, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Gold Coast Titans clash will be held in Cairns as part of a three-year agreement, with the first match taking place on 16 June 2013.
“The Newman Government is committed to supporting tourism in Cairns and the addition of the Regional Cairns Fixture to the city's major event calendar is set to deliver significant economic returns for the region.
“Tourism and events are intrinsically linked and with Queensland's major event calendar growing to feature 45 major events in 2013, up from 30 this year, we will be able to maximise our share of the domestic and international visitor markets.”
Another member of Parliament looking forward to the annual clash, as well as thrilled for fans who get to see Cairns host the clash, is Member for Cairns and Assistant Minister for Tourism, Gavin King.
“To have secured another major event in Cairns is a fantastic coup. It demonstrates our ability to host high quality events, while showcasing the great experiences on offer to a national audience,” Mr King said.
“This event joins a growing calendar of major events for the region including the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival featuring Ironman Cairns, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the AFL Fixture between the Gold Coast Suns and Richmond Tigers.”
With Cairns slowly building their rapport as an area capable of hosting a variety of sporting events, Bob Manning, the Cairns Regional Council Mayor, says that this fixture for the next three years increases the profile of Cairns as a sporting city.
“This is great news for the people of Cairns, who can look forward to seeing home-grown hero Nate Myles play on his home turf,” Cr Manning said.
“Cairns and Far North Queensland have long been among the NRL's great 'nurseries', having produced many Australian and State of Origin players.
“I have no doubt that we will pack the house out for the fixture.”