Push to Bring Dallas Cowboys NFL Match to Australia’s Adelaide Oval

One of America’s leading sports teams could play at Adelaide Oval under ambitious plans being explored by the State Government.

Officials will meet with the Dallas Cowboys, a hugely successful American football team, in a few weeks about potentially playing a game at the redeveloped $535 million city stadium.

If successful, hosting a National Football League game would be a tourist coup for the state and would beam images of South Australia into millions of American homes.

It remains unclear, however, how much such an event would cost or whether such a game would be logistically possible.

It comes after it emerged that English Premier League club Liverpool have set a July 14 date for a clash with Adelaide United at the revamped oval.

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell is in America for a G’Day USA event next week and will also conduct a series of other meetings in San Francisco, Los Angels and Chicago.

He also had a day in Dallas, in which officials will meeting with Cowboys executives about enticing them to Adelaide.

He admitted that while hosting such a match in Adelaide was an ambitious proposal, he said it was a realistic option.

“It would be a huge in terms of showcasing Adelaide and South Australia to a massive audience,” he said.

“I would say that while the odds may not be huge, nothing ever happens if you don’t go and have that first meeting. Nothing may come of it, but it is good to put those feelers out.”

Dallas Cheerleaders

He said the government wanted to use Adelaide Oval for as many international sporting events as it could handle but also said only if it was affordable for taxpayers.

He said that flying out of Dallas from Chicago meant officials could also inspect the world-leading AT&T stadium, that hosts the Cowboys.

He said the timing of the trip clashed with the Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

The match, which is watched by almost 120 million people, will be held three days after the G’Day USA Event, which aims to foster better economic ties in the United States.

The NFL is America’s most popular sport, according to a recent ESPN survey, which revealed it was the favourite of almost a third of respondents.

League figures show an average NFL game is watched by 17.6 million people. Each year teams play four preseason games and a further 16 regular-season matches.

The Queensland Government has failed in their attempt to entice the NFL to Australia in recent years while there has also been a push to lure American football to Sydney.

But the NFL has successfully played a series of sell out regular games at London’s Wembley Arena since 2007.

Dallas also played an exhibition match in Japan in 2000, which club sources said had been viewed positively.

Speaking about how it would work, Mr Bignell said it could mean an exhibition match or hosting the first game of the season, which would allow teams to recover.

The Cowboys are considered one of the league’s most popular teams, having won the Super Bowl five times.

Opposition Tourism spokesman David Ridgway said he had no problem with enticing high-profile sports events but cautioned that taxpayers should not be left with a hefty bill and that negotiations were transparent.

A Dallas Cowboys spokesman would not say today whether the team was receptive to the idea.

He referred inquiries to league headquarters, which he said organised all international games.

An NFL spokesman was unavailable for comment.

Source: www.adelaidenow.com.au

Andrew Hough
Senior reporter @theTiser/@newscorpaus. Ex UK @Telegraph journalist; London expat. Proud Aussie. Obsessive West Wing fan. Newspaper man [email protected]
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