Local footy fans will be treated to a winter storm front like no other, with three NRL games featuring the Melbourne Storm coming to Sunshine Coast Stadium, delivering a great boost for the region.
All three matches are Storm-allocated home games and form part of their commitment to the Sunshine Coast after relocating from their Victorian base.
A COVID Safe plan has been approved by the Queensland Government and includes authority for a seating capacity of 6000 at the Stadium.
The first match will be held on Friday, 17 July, with Storm to play a round 10 clash against Gold Coast Titans with kick-off at 6pm.
Melbourne Storm and Sunshine Coast Lightning members can grab their tickets at midday Thursday, 9 July and are encouraged to get in quick as tickets are limited. Public tickets are on sale from 1pm.
Melbourne Storm has also locked in home games at Sunshine Coast Stadium against Newcastle Knights on Sunday 2 August at 4.05pm and against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday 8 August at 3pm.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Storm’s decision to pursue the approvals to host these games at the Stadium was a win-win for the NRL and our region.
“We know the Sunshine Coast is a destination of choice for major sporting teams and events and this announcement serves to reinforce that fact,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We have a track record of selling out the Stadium for top-level rugby league and have no doubt this will be repeated for these Melbourne Storm ‘home’ games, even though it will be a reduced number due to COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our Stadium surface is in pristine condition and is NRL-ready.
“The match against the Titans on July 17 will also be the first opportunity to officially use our new LED Broadcast Lighting system installed earlier this season, which has made hosting these games possible.
“The lighting upgrade had been installed for two other NRL matches and Women’s State of Origin fixtures originally planned pre COVID-19.
“While those two NRL fixtures have unfortunately been cancelled for this year, it is very exciting they have been replaced by these three Storm fixtures.
“We also remain hopeful that the Women’s State of Origin match will be played on the Sunshine Coast later in the year.
“I’m sure today’s exciting news will draw people from across Queensland to combine enjoying a game of NRL with a holiday in the best location in Australia.”
Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said the team had settled in well since temporarily relocating to the Sunshine Coast.
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said the club was delighted to have Sunshine Coast Stadium as its temporary home ground as the unpredictable season 2020 continues.
“The squad has transitioned extremely well to the Coast and they’re very much looking forward to making Sunshine Coast Stadium home for our next three allocated home matches,” Donaghy said.
“It’s a first-class regional facility which is a credit to the Sunshine Coast.
“It continues to be a very unusual time for our club, and the NRL.
“Our thanks go to Sunshine Coast Council for joining us in a partnership which will bring the NRL to our Queensland members and fans, as well as the Coast’s league community after they experienced the disappointment of missing out on two NRL games earlier in the season.
“While we have played trial games here in the past, these will be our first official NRL games at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
“They will be three big events to get along to and we look forward to seeing the Purple Army in big numbers.
“Whilst Melbourne will always be home, the extraordinary circumstances we face in Victoria left us with no alternative but to depart when we did.
“We are feeling for our members and all Victorians who received some challenging news yesterday with regards to further lockdowns.
“Hopefully the situation improves as a result of the measures taken and we can bring some cheer to our members and fans back home by making them proud on the field.”
Sunshine Coast Economic Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the national exposure that would be provided with these three events would provide great opportunities for the region and contribute to boosting the local economy.
“Sourcing local food, beverages, security and production will see some much needed activity in these sectors and for those hundreds of people employed to deliver these events,” Cr O’Pray said.
“In a very competitive tourism market, the national coverage for two games on FOX and one game on FOX and Channel 9 is another great opportunity to showcase our region and entice visitors to come, stay and play on the Sunshine Coast.
“I encourage our residents and Queenslanders to mark the dates in the diary now and book your tickets as soon as possible because they’ll be snapped up very quickly.”
Tickets are available via Ticketek https://premier.ticketek.com.au/.
Kick-off for the Friday 17 July match is at 6pm. For further information on the game and corporate packages click here.