THE eyes of the world will once again be on the events capital of Queensland next month as the V8s roar into life at the Armor All Gold Coast 600.

The street circuit will rumble like never before with an all-star international cast which includes the likes of Dario Franchitti, Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz Harold Frentzen as well as Australia’s own Will Power and Ryan Briscoe teaming up with local V8 Supercar legends.

The three-day event will ensure the good vibrations are felt in the region long after The Beach Boys have finished their set.

Every flight that arrives, hotel room which is booked, ticket sold or cab that is hailed contributes to the success of an event which last year generated an estimated $48.01 million for the Gold Coast economy.

But motor racing on the Gold Coast is just one of many events which contribute to the region. The table below outlines just a few of the events hosted and their impact on the local economy.

While these events train the eye of the national and international media in the short term and promote the Gold Coast as a tourist destination, there is nothing which galvanises a community quite like the week in, week out regular season fixtures of local teams like the Titans in the NRL and the Blaze in the NBL.

These highly successful national sporting teams, of which the Premier is the No.1 ticket holder, are soon to be joined by the Suns in the AFL.

Sport is helping drive the Gold Coast into the future. As Sport Minister I am on the ball and acutely aware that building new infrastructure means jobs in the short and long term.

The Bligh Government invests more in sport and recreation than any other state or territory. As Sport Minister I understand the power of sport and its ability to deliver substantial benefits not only to individuals but to local regions.

Look no further than the redevelopment of Carrara stadium, a major project which the Government is investing $71.9 million in is expected to generate 1100 jobs during construction.

The AFL’s own economic modelling, highlights that the new team the Gold Coast Suns, playing at the new venue has the potential to inject an additional $340 million into the local economy over the next 10 years.

An independent economic report found that it wasn’t the Suns themselves, but Gold Coast businesses who will be the main beneficiaries with more than 90 per cent of the spending benefitting organisations not directly aligned with the new AFL team.

So important is Queensland to the game’s administrators, the 2010 NAB AFL Draft will be held on the Gold Coast. It’s a great coup for the Gold Coast and Queensland as this year will be the first time in 25 years the draft has been staged outside of Victoria.

The Queensland Government has proven track record in this regard, funding the construction of Skilled Park at Robina to the tune of $160 million.

Completed in 2008, the stadium can accommodate more than 27,000 visitors. Its construction was central to the Titans entry into the NRL competition, and remains the nerve centre of their community marketing campaign.

EVENT ECONOMIC                                                IMPACT           DATE

ANZ Ladies Masters                                             $6.7 m             2008
Surf Life Saving Championship                          $14.65m         2010
Gold Coast Airport Marathon                               $33m               2009
NRL All Stars                                                          $6.88m            2009
Pan Pacific Masters Games                                $10.2m           2008
Magic Millions January Carnival & Sales          $24.6m           2008

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