SOCCER GRAND FINAL: UNSW is victorious again.
SOCCER GRAND FINAL: UNSW is victorious again.

University urged to play it again

CR KEITH Rhoades reckons our city should be justly proud of yet another successful Eastern University Games.

The Coffs Harbour mayor says the big event, which wrapped up on Wednesday, injects millions of dollars into our community.

Little wonder, then, that he wants them back next year.

“You just can’t put a value on what they mean for sports tour- ism here,” Cr Rhoades said.

“At one accommodation house there contracted price to have students was $20,000 and then there’s the flow-on benefits for local jobs.

“Again, Coffs Harbour has excelled itself.

“The games officials were stoked with the community response and the friendliness of the local people.”

Cr Rhoades said Australian University Sport general manager Tony Jermyn had indicated his team wanted to return to Coffs Harbour for a third visit – we previously hosted the games in 2006.

However, the city has to compete with other centres in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria for the hosting rights.

“A decision has not yet been made by the organisers,” Cr Rhoades said.

“They are aware of the ($2- million) lighting upgrade coming to BCU International Stadium which could allow them to look at further night-time activities and adding more sports.”

Cr Rhoades said the council and the community had worked together to bring important sporting events to the city and the economic benefits had flowed.

“The council is not here to make money out of sports tour- ism – we are here to ensure we are driving the local economy by attracting events and functions to our city,” he said.

“Sports tourism generates more than $40 million annually into our local economy as a result of sporting events coming to Coffs Harbour.”

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