- Thursday 24 November 2016
An NRL trial game between Melbourne Storm and NZ Warriors and the first home appearances for the Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Suncorp Super Netball team will highlight a spectacular weekend of sport on the Sunshine Coast in February.
On three consecutive days (February 10-12), sports lovers will have the chance to see stars in two of our most popular sports in action at Sunshine Coast Stadium and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The Storm, grand finalists in the NRL this year, will be up against the Warriors on Saturday evening, February 11 at the new-look stadium which is undergoing a $2 million upgrade to expand its capacity to 10,000 fans.
With new coach Stephen Kearney in charge, it will be the Warriors’ first appearance on the Sunshine Coast since 2007.
The Lightning netball team will take on their coach Noeline Taurua’s former team, the Southern Steel, on Friday night, February 10 (7.45pm) and Sunday, February 12 (noon) in their debut matches at the redeveloped USC Sports Stadium.
Tickets for the Storm v Warriors clash go on sale at 10am on Monday (November 28), while the Lightning will announce ticketing details for their matches as part of their membership launch in early December
Tourism, Events and Sport Portfolio Cr Jason O’Pray announced details of the unique triple-header at Sunshine Coast Stadium today.
“This will be three days of high-level sport unlike any other we’ve seen in our region,” Cr OPray said.
“Not only do we have the Storm back at our stadium for the second straight year, we get the chance to see the Warriors on the Coast for the first time in a decade and two matches featuring our Sunshine Coast Lightning who can’t wait to hit the floor in front of their home crowd.
“It’s going to be a fantastic festival of sport with the opportunity not only to see four great teams do battle but also the chance to catch up with the players as they head into their 2017 seasons.
“I’m sure our Coast residents will love it and we’ll get plenty of visitors to the region, including some from across the Tasman, for the three days as well.”
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said: “The festival of sport weekend in February will be an exciting opportunity for Storm, Lightning and the local community.
“Melbourne Storm has a close connection with the Sunshine Coast and we are committed to strengthening that in 2017. It will be a high quality contest with two exciting teams.”
The rugby league program at Sunshine Coast Stadium will also feature an Intrust Super Cup 2016 preliminary final rematch between the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Redcliffe Dolphins and the Melbourne Storm NYC under-20s against the Falcons’ colts.
Tickets start at $20 for adults, $10 for children (under-18) and $55 for a family of four.
There is also an ultimate fan package available for $150 that includes reserved grandstand seating, pre and post VIP tent access, the opportunity to meet players, a ticket to the Falcons’ first home game of 2017, nibbles and a 90-minute pre-game drinks package plus a Melbourne Storm cap.
Tickets can be purchased from the Sunshine Coast Stadium website www.sunshinecoaststadium.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.
The Lightning are in the first half of their pre-season training campaign and will welcome their marquee signing Caitlin Bassett on to the court for the first time next week.
Their opponents on February 10 and 12, the Southern Steel, are based in Invercargill on NZ’s South Island and will play in the six-team ANZ Premiership in 2017.
They were eliminated in the second week of the finals by the Queensland Firebirds in this year’s Trans-Tasman competition.
“These trial games will be the first time we’ll take to the court at the newly redeveloped USC stadium as we enter final preparations before Round 1,” Lightning CEO Danielle Smith said.
“We are looking forward to seeing our players run out in Lightning colours and we look forward to showcasing the team to the community on what will be a landmark weekend for sport on the Sunshine Coast.”
Image: Tourism, Events and Sport Portfolio Cr Jason O’Pray (right) with Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen and Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Noeline Taurua at Sunshine Coast Stadium