Page 618 - Week 02 - Thursday, 19 February 2015

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Of course, the Asian Cup was a magnificent success, contributing significantly to the territory economy. Our seven matches as part of that tournament attracted a combined attendance of nearly 82,500—nearly 12,000 attendees per match. That is an outstanding result that exceeded all expectations, particularly considering our seven matches were staged across a 13-day period and did not feature an appearance by the Socceroos.

The Asian Cup provided local and visiting fans alike with the opportunity to witness world-class football at Canberra stadium in, again, a vibrant and magnificent atmosphere that culminated in arguably the match of the tournament—the quarterfinal between Iran and Iraq. That is widely considered to be one of the greatest games in Asian Cup history. Canberra stadium was openly lauded by the Asian Football Confederation officials as having the tournament’s best playing surface. Canberra matches were also successful in generating strong levels of international and interstate visitation and community support.

It shows that this city can stage major international events and that the Canberra community, the region’s community and people from Australia and around the world will come to our city for major events. It gives us great confidence to go into the marketplace for more in the years ahead.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how did the ACT government contribute to the large attendance at these events?

MR BARR: We worked very hard, through Visit Canberra, our destination marketing agency, to target as many national media channels and partnerships as possible, with a particular focus on our largest markets, being Sydney and surrounding New South Wales, but with a secondary focus on the rest of the eastern seaboard and a broader national audience. We targeted particular demographics. Floriade NightFest was targeted towards a younger audience through both online and magazine placements.

Visit Canberra led a $325,000 integrated marketing campaign over the 2014-15 summer period, just in those few months, and this campaign activity targeted regional New South Wales and Sydney-based audiences. Commencing in November and running through until the end of March, the campaign also extended our partnership with both the Asian Cup and Cricket World Cup local organising committees to promote these events for Canberra. The success is there in terms of the attendance and atmosphere at these events. They have been fantastic for our city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, why is it important for the ACT government to support major events?

MR BARR: Our centenary year provided an excellent example of the value of investing in events and the infrastructure necessary to support those events. It was a

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