Palace, Hammers to bring EPL stars to Queensland
English Premier League clubs West Ham and Crystal Palace will take on Brisbane Roar for the EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup in July.
As revealed by The Courier-Mail last week, a billion dollars of EPL talent is headed to Queensland for the pre-season tournament kicking off in Townsville on Saturday, July 11.
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Palace will meet the Roar in Cup opener at the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
The Roar then head to the Gold Coast to take on West Ham at Robina's Cbus Super Stadium on Wednesday, July 15.
The Cup concludes on Saturday, July 18 when Palace meet the Hammers in an all-London affair at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said hosting the tournament was a "great win for the state's tourism industry".
"Soccer has a rapidly-growing, global following," Palaszczuk said.
"These games, featuring some of the world's best players, will be major drawcards for Queensland.
"When it comes to major events, we've kicked plenty of goals over the last couple of years.
"This is about supporting local jobs in the tourism industry."
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said with tourism struggling because of the recent bushfires and the coronavirus, the Cup "couldn't come at a better time".
Jones said the three matches would inject $5.92 million into the state's economy and generate 26,559 visitor nights for local businesses.
"If you're an Aussie soccer fan, Queensland is the place to be in 2020," she said. "It's is just another reason for thousands of Aussies to book a Queensland holiday.
"You don't get EPL stars come out to Australia every day.
"For a lot of people, this will be their only chance to see some of the world's best on Australian soil.
"The English Premier League is the best soccer league on the planet. The fact that we've secured two current EPL sides to come here is a testament to the fact that Queensland is a world-class events destination."
West Ham's hopes of avoiding relegation from the EPL were boosted with a 3-1 weekend win over Southampton.
The Hammers squad has a market value of more than $621 million.
Palace, whose squad is valued at more than $387 million, also moved up the EPL ladder with 1-0 away win over Brighton thanks to a goal from Ghanaian international Jordan Ayew.
TEG chief executive Geoff Jones, whose company is behind the tournament, said the Cup was "an exciting opportunity for fans and major event goers to witness live two current clubs from the world's leading and most popular football league, the England Premier League".
"We are delighted to be staging this event in three of Queensland's premier venues and in three different cities through our event partners Tourism and Events Queensland, Stadiums Queensland, Suncorp Stadium, City of Gold Coast and City of Townsville," he said.
"We'd like to thank the Queensland Government for their role in facilitating the opportunity."
Tournament tickets are available at www.ticketek.com.au. from Wednesday, March 11.