Coffs set for financial boost

SATURDAY night’s NAB Challenge match between the Sydney Swans and St Kilda is expected to generate more than $500,000 for the local economy.

AFL followers in and around the Coffs Harbour area are predicted to pack into BCU International Stadium to watch local favourites the Swans take on last year’s grand finalists, St Kilda.

Many of Coffs Harbour’s accommodation providers have already been booked, caterers are busy preparing for the match and cafes and restaurants are likely to be packed out in the coming days.

Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades said hosting the NAB Challenge match was a huge bonus for the city.

“Not only will the economy receive a major boost by hosting the event, but there is every chance people travelling from Sydney, regional NSW and parts of Australia, will fall in love with our great city and want to return again another day,” Cr Rhoades said.

“There are many business sectors within the community that will benefit indirectly and the impact of that should not be underestimated.

“The NAB Challenge is truly a significant event for our sporting calendar and I encourage all people to come along to watch the best players in the AFL battle it out.”

The work and support of the Coffs Harbour City Council has been instrumental in bringing AFL back to the city for the first time since 2003.

Not only has the council just finished installing 1500 LUX lighting at BCU International Stadium which was fully-funded by the Federal Government, but the mayor added that there had also been considerable work undertaken with community football grounds in the area.

“We made the investment in the stadium in order to secure more sporting and cultural events for the community,” Cr Rhoades said yesterday.

“The NAB Challenge is an excellent example of the type of event we wanted to attract.

“This match will attract spectators from outside our city and region.

“With plenty of events and activities happening during the game there has never been a better time to watch professional AFL in our own backyard.”

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