Fans of the world game across the Central West will have the chance to watch their heroes live and in person, thanks to the support of the NSW Nationals in the state government.
Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders has announced $150,000 from the Regional Events Acceleration Fund for Mid-Western Regional Council to host the March 19 A-League clash between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur FC at Glen Willow.
“Major events not only showcase our regional places and communities to people across the country and overseas, they also contribute significantly to our regional economies by attracting more visitors to the region,” Mr Saunders said.
“Tourists stay in local accommodation, eat in local restaurants and cafes, visit local attractions, and buy from local businesses.
“I commend the Mid-Western Regional Council for continually promoting the region; I’m proud the NSW Government has been able to support its efforts.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Regional Events Acceleration Fund is supporting the growth of existing regional events and attracting new major domestic and international events to regional NSW.
“Since its inception, the Regional Events Acceleration Fund has supported the delivery and development of 85 events, estimated to result in over 1.1 million visitors travelling to the regional areas where these events are held,” Mr Toole said.
Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said given the success of last year’s FFA Cup match in Mudgee, and even last weekend’s Charity Shield NRL clash, it was impossible for them to ignore returning as quickly as possible.
“This would not be possible without the fantastic support from Mid-Western Regional Council and the NSW Government through the Regional Events Acceleration Fund,” Mr Mielekamp said.
“This funding has been pivotal to help us achieve our goal in helping football and all sports grow in Mudgee.
“Plus, if we can help provide a strong boost to the Mudgee economy and the community, we will do everything that we can to return to this thriving regional city.”
Mid-Western Regional Council General Manager Brad Cam welcomed the funding.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Central Coast Mariners to host an A-League game right here in Mudgee, all thanks to the Regional Events Acceleration Fund,” Mr Cam said.
“More than 600 kids play soccer in our region and for them to see A-League players in the flesh will have profound benefits for them and the sport locally.
“This game really confirms that Glen Willow is the ‘Official home of football in the Central West’, capable of hosting all codes from league to union and now A-League.”
The $40 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund is part of the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure for regional communities.