Commonwealth Games 2018 hosting proves winner for Gold Coast City venues and film industry
Hosting the Commonwealth Games 2018 (GC2018) in April last year enabled the City of the Gold Coast to drive record numbers through its sporting venues and continue attracting major film productions to its studios. The Games has proven itself to be the catalyst for the city to successfully begin its long-term sport and events strategy, validating the Council’s approach to delivering infrastructure for the event.
Projections into 2019 are already strong with numbers forecast to exceed all previous yearly bookings since the venues were handed back to the city in 2016 after upgrades to existing infrastructure and the newly built arenas were finished.
Venues in the city were booked at full capacity after the Games in 2018, matching or exceeding the previous year’s full year capacity, despite being closed for 6 months in 2018 due to pre-Games preparation work or post event change over to normal configuration.
The city has seen its major sporting venues develop greatly since 2016. Where events once accounted for minimal bookings throughout the original stadiums they now exceed 100+ events per year including school, state, national and international level competitions. The Gold Coast’s major sporting venues hosted more than 164 events and functions in 2018, excluding the GC2018, these generated more than $17,226,624 in local economic benefits, according to Council data.
The increase from two community stadiums to an additional two multi-million-dollar sports arenas has resulted in a rapid growth in patronage, services delivered and general venue usage. Numbers have more than doubled with 635,274 using the venues in 2018 compared to 291,040 in 2016.
The approach by the city to host national and mass participation events has also had a positive effect on tourism in the city with participants and their families using the Gold Coast’s accommodation, attractions and restaurants while attending the events, driving more business into the city. An example of this was last year’s Pan Pacific Masters Games with over 15,000 competitors and their families generating more than 90,000 visitor nights and injecting about $20 million into the city.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the city’s reputation for attracting sporting events was on the rise.
“Since GC2018, we have secured world championships in sky diving and triathlon. In September, we hosted the world triathlon finals on the same course as the Commonwealth Games and November saw the hugely successful Masters Games. Our evolution as a sporting city is no accident and has come about through our Sports Plan that aims to attract more events, sports training squads and sports science programs.”
“However, it’s not just competitive events using the venues. Last year we were announced as host city for the 2020 SportAccord, the world sport and business summit. This event attracts the world’s top 1500 sports administrators … the real decision makers of world sport and links well to other business conferences such as The Travel Expo that we hosted in 2018.’’
January has seen the return of British Swimmers for a training camp using the facilities in the city and continuing the Gold Coast’s position as a favourite for British athletes started back in 1999 and 2000 when Team GB used it as a base to prepare for the Sydney Olympics.
The city’s film studios also played a part in the Games with the main sound stage, the biggest in the southern hemisphere, at Helensvale Studios hosting the squash event.
Aquaman, which is currently on release in UK cinemas, was filmed on the Gold Coast and used the studios as did “Dora the Explorer” (now in post-production) with the next Hollywood blockbuster “Kong versus Godzilla” set to drive more business into the city’s film industry.