Townsville is just hours away from becoming the first regional city in Australia to host a State of Origin rugby league match.
“Tonight’s the night. It’s Townsville’s time to shine,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of tonight’s State of Origin opener at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
“The atmosphere is already building. You only need to look around the city to see that tonight, Townsville will host something special.”
The Premier said State of Origin I would inject $7 million into the local economy with 22,500 room nights booked out at local accommodation providers.
“Jessica Mauboy, Birds of Tokyo and Busby Marou are preparing to play to thousands of fans in Flinders Street,” she said.
“Food and drink vendors are getting ready for a big night’s trade on Flinders Street – the Caxton Street of the North.
“And grounds keepers are putting the finishing touches on the surface at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
“This is exactly why we made the decision to build Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
“The hard work isn’t over. Queensland’s behind Daly Cherry-Evans and the Maroons to get the job done tonight.”
Resources Minister and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said local businesses were already benefitting from the State of Origin.
“Hotels are booked out. Pubs will soon be full. And the phones are ringing hot at tourism businesses throughout North Queensland – with footy fans keen to extend their stay,” Mr Stewart said.
“Time and again we’ve proven that we can safely host major events that deliver strong benefits for local businesses.
“Tonight will be one of the greatest footy spectacles North Queensland has ever seen.”