‘The best is yet to come for Games venues’
LATEST council data reveals the Commonwealth Games venues are delivering a massive economic benefit for the Gold Coast.
Following a six-month closure to host Queensland's biggest event in April last year, the venues were reopened in June 2018.
In the first six months of opening, the venues are credited with creating $62 million in estimated economic returns.
The legacy venue of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Coomera Indoor Sports Centre and Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre had witnessed a rapid increase in overall bookings and operations after the Games in April last year, a new council report says.
"The first six months of the post-Games operations has seen the major sporting venues and the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre host more than 323 events an functions, generating more than $61,399,102 in local economic benefits," the report said.
The major sporting venues had staged 390 event days, secured more than $1 million in event hire revenue and hosted more than 594,000 patrons.
The Aquatic Centre had attracted more than 22,000 patrons at 246 events giving an economic return to the city of more than $15 million.
Events like the BSW Sudirman Cup at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre sold almost 14,000 tickets for badminton fans and had a broadcast reach of 500 million viewers.
Basketball games with the Brisbane Bullets and netball with the Firebirds are attracting more than 4000 fans and 325,000 viewers.
The venues have 121 events booked for the 2019 calendar year which promises revenue of more than $1.5 million.
"Event clients are now booking their event in advance with 50 events currently booked for 2020 covering 313 event days," the report said.
Council officers say they are dealing with multi-year bookings and larger clients want to lock-in deals across 2021 and 2022.
People counters at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre have recorded more than 250,000 fans and athletes so far this year.
The Aquatic Centre at Southport has 52 events booked for this year covering 140 days.
Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones told the Gold Coast Bulletin: "We made a decision to invest in the Commonwealth Games so we could deliver sporting and events infrastructure that would grow the Gold Coast's tourism industry. This data proves that plan is working.
"What's exciting is the best is yet to come - we're seeing stronger bookings than ever for our Games venues which will have a great flow-on effect for local businesses."
Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon said the government would continue to work hard to capitalise on the legacy of the Games.
"Around 1.5 billion people tuned in last year. This is exposure money can't buy. We're still running marketing campaigns to leverage that exposure and make sure that our world-class sporting venues remain full," Ms Scanlon said.
"Our investment in new sporting infrastructure benefits all Gold Coasters - it means you don't have to travel to Brisbane or Sydney to see world class sport. Seeing kids playing sport at world class venues like the new Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre is one of the greatest legacies I've seen."