Crowds packed Sunshine Coast Stadium to make new venue record
  • Monday 25 February 2019
There’s no doubt the Sunshine Coast community love their events, and particularly NRL, with 10,680 footy fans packing into council’s Sunshine Coast Stadium to set a new venue record on Saturday night (February 23).

The last venue record of 10,169 fans was made at the New Zealand Warriors and the Melbourne Storm’s pre-season trial game in 2017.

The all-Queensland NRL pre-season trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans didn’t disappoint, with a close game seeing the Cowboys run away at the end to record a 22-16 win.

It’s the first time the Cowboys have played on the Sunshine Coast and going by the numbers who flocked to their open training session and their team colours proudly worn on match day, it was clear the 2015 NRL premiers were the crowd favourites of the day.

The Titans returned to the region after taking on the New Zealand Warriors last year and also had a solid contingent of supporters following them.

During their visit to the region the Cowboys visited 16 local schools interacting with more than 5000 students sharing the cyber bullying message as part of an NRL education campaign.

Both Cowboys and Titans players and coaches attended the children’s ward at Sunshine Coast University Hospital late last week to surprise sick children and provide their families with some interaction with the teams.

Tourism, Sports and Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said he wasn’t surprised the Cowboys and Titans game was a sell-out and almost doubled the next biggest attendance record at a trial game on the weekend with none of the six NRL trial games held across the country exceeding 5800 people.

“There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the Coast’s footy fans pack Sunshine Coast Stadium with their favourite team colours – there was hardly a spare spot on the hills which have improved spectator viewing and increased our capacity,” Cr O’Pray said.

“It is very satisfying to hear the Cowboys head coach Paul Green state the Sunshine Coast delivered a great atmosphere and ground to play at.

“There will be no doubt that the upcoming NRL Round 5 game between the Rabbitohs and Warriors on April 13 will make sporting history on the Coast and be a sell-out as well.

“So if you are planning on coming along don’t wait – it is unlikely that there will be tickets available on the day, as this first game in the region for NRL Premiership points with all the stars on display is sure to be even more popular than this pre-season game.

“Ticket sales are already tracking exceptionally well and aside from competing with locals for tickets, those interested in attending will also need to consider the large numbers of people from Sydney and New Zealand who have already purchased their tickets to the game.

“We encourage those who want to see the Rabbitohs take on the Warriors on April 13 to get onto the Ticketek website as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“It just proves if you deliver high-class events on the Coast at quality facilities, the community will support them rather than travelling to Brisbane.

“There is no doubt the impact of major events like this are broad and far-reaching and the region benefits from increased visitation, social inclusion, community wellbeing and the media coverage showcases the region to future visitors and positions us to secure more high quality sporting content in the years ahead.”

Image captions:

Image 1: Council’s Sunshine Coast Stadium set a new venue record with 10,680 footy fans attending the all-Queensland NRL pre-season trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans on February 23. Photo by Eyes Wide Open Images.

Image 2: North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans battle it out in the NRL pre-season trial at Sunshine Coast Stadium on February 23. Photo by Eyes Wide Images.

Image 3: Gold Coast Titans mascots with some young NRL fans at the pre-season trial at Sunshine Coast Stadium on February 23. Photo by Eyes Wide Images.