International events are great for local events
Thursday 31 May 2018 10:55am
The recent Fed Cup BNP Paribas World Group Play-offs hosted by WIN Entertainment Centre on April 21-22 brought the first international tennis event to Wollongong in 15 years.
The NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said events like the Fed Cup are a huge win for the region.
“Not only have we had a highly successful weekend of tennis with the numbers of visitors and investment far exceeding our expectations, but this event also puts our region on the international stage showcasing its natural beauty and unique local businesses, restaurants, shops and tourism providers,” says Mr Ward.
“We’d been working with Tennis Australia for a long time to attract a major tennis event, but it was well worth the wait,” says WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres Venue Manager Marc Swan.
The event injected nearly half a million dollars into the region and attracted more than 1200 visitors, according to new figures from Destination Wollongong. Free-to-air television coverage of the event also helped enhance visibility of the area.
“Holding international events here brings in international dollars. Visitors spend money in our cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops so anytime we’re attracting tourists, we’re attracting benefits to our community,” says Mr Swan.
Fed Cup organisers chose the WIN Entertainment Centre for the playoffs.
“Hosting the event here meant we had to upgrade the court to an international-appraised non-cushioned acrylic surface,” says Mr Swan.
“The Wollongong Tennis Club upgraded four of their courts to the same standard, thanks to contributions from Tennis NSW and the Wollongong City Council. The new courts allowed the Fed Cup players to practice nearby and now that the event is over, local tennis players are able to train and play on the same surfaces that professionals use,” says Mr Swan.
Nearly 100 countries play in the Fed Cup, making it the world's largest annual international team competition in women's sport.
“To hold such a prestigious event in Wollongong warranted building new indoor purpose-built hard courts and we look forward to attracting and hosting more international events. The Australian players were happy to be on home soil after so many European-based games and were delighted with the new courts,” says Mr Swan.
“This event has been a great example of agencies working together to deliver an excellent outcome for players, fans and the community, something we couldn’t have done without the support of Destination Wollongong and Destination NSW,” says Mr Swan.