Arsenal Football Club and the New South Wales Government today announced a multi-year Tourism Partnership, which will culminate in Arsenal playing the Western Sydney Wanderers in one of the Club’s two pre-season matches at ANZ Stadium in Sydney in July 2017.
The matches will be hosted by ANZ Stadium in a joint Destination NSW and NSW Government initiative to bring the global football Giants to Australia for the first time since 1977.
Wanderers Chairman Paul Lederer said the opportunity to play Arsenal was an outstanding result for the members and fans of the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club.
“This is the opportunity we have been waiting for and we are very excited to be able to announce that Arsenal will be coming to Australia to play our side in a friendly,” he said.
“Arsenal are a huge team and we know that many of our fans are also major fans of the Arsenal Football Club.
“Myself and John (Tsatsimas, Wanderers CEO) met with Ivan Gazidis and his team earlier this year on our visit to Arsenal and we are very pleased that this opportunity has been able to come to fruition.
“Our members will be in pole position to see Arsenal in action on Australian shores for the first time since 1977 which is a wonderful outcome for this Club and for Western Sydney.”
In the agreement Destination NSW will become Arsenal’s Official Tourism Partner for Australia with the ability to utilise a wide range of rights including LED perimeter signage, player and legend access, digital and social promotions, in-stadium activations and match day hospitality.
“We are excited to enter into this partnership with the NSW Government and Destination NSW. As well as being our first partnership agreement in Australia, the deal is unique in combining a tourism partnership with pre-season matches,” said Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vinai Venkatesham.
“We look forward to working with our new partner to promote NSW, before bringing our first team to Sydney for two games in 2017 in front of our passionate Australian fans.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the partnership will see NSW promoted to millions of football fans around the world.
“Arsenal FC is one of world football’s oldest and most iconic clubs, having formed in 1889 and won 13 League titles and 12 FA Cups in its 129 year history. This historic two year agreement will see NSW promoted at every Arsenal home game, generating huge exposure for our State across the globe,” said Mr Ayres.
“The partnership will also see Arsenal travel to Sydney in July 2017, playing matches against Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC, exclusively at ANZ Stadium. The matches are expected to attract more than 28,000 domestic and international visitors, who will spend in excess of $18.6 million.
ANZ Stadium Managing Director Daryl Kerry said the Arsenal tour would give Sydney two sporting blockbusters back-to-back in 2017.
“Arsenal are one of the most successful clubs in the English Premier League, the reigning FA Cup champions, and a club steeped in history and with an enormous following here in Australia,” said Mr Kerry.
Details of the Arsenal matches to be played at ANZ Stadium in July 2017 will be announced in due course with tickets expected to go on sale by September 2016. Further details will be announced at a future date.