- First game of the American College Football season will be played in Sydney
- The University of California and University of Hawaii will play at Sydney Olympic Park in August, 2016
Cheerleaders, marching bands, crazy fans, a giant pack of fearsome Golden Bears and an army of Hawaiian Warriors will take over Sydney in a $10 million American sporting extravaganza next year.
You might have thought American baseball at the SCG was big and Jarryd Hayne playing NFL for San Francisco was exciting, but this will take it to a whole new level.
Sydney Olympic Park will host the first game of the American College Football season between the University of California and the University of Hawaii in August next year.
“The match itself should be terrific, but it’s going to be an all-American experience with the colour and movement that comes with college football,” Tourism and Sport Minister Stuart Ayres said.
“We don’t do things by halves here in NSW. We’ve been working on this for over 12 months now and, with the stars now aligned, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many Australian fans.’’
College football is enormously popular in the US, with both teams regularly playing before sold-out stadiums of almost 70,000 people every week.
The state government and Destination NSW expect more than 15,000 international and interstate fans will join the 420 players and coaching staff who will arrive from both teams, as well as the marching bands and cheerleaders.
To get fans into the mood, the ANZ Stadium precinct will host a pre-game tailgate party, a US tradition where fans meet, eat and drink out of the boot of their cars.
“It’s big news, just fantastic for sport and tourism in NSW and sends a clear message that if you want to bring major events to Australia, the only place to do it is in Sydney,’’ Mr Ayres said.
It will also double as a pitch to NFL officials that playing a professional match here is viable, as The Sunday Telegraph exclusively revealed last month, with plans to bring the San Francisco 49ers to Sydney for a preseason game.
The University of Hawaii made Colin Scotts the first Australian to earn an American football scholarship and also hosted former rugby league great Paul Sironen for a short stint in the 1980s.
Tickets go on sale on December 7.
University of California, Berkeley (Cal Bears) v University of Hawaii (Rainbow Warriors)
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Telstra Thanks pre-sale: Tuesday 9am until Thursday 9am
General Public on-sale: Monday, December 7, 10am
Corporate hospitality packages available
Silver: $99 Adults, $69 Concession/Junior
Bronze: $69 Adults, $55 Concession/Junior
Diamond/Locker Room Package: $395
Telstra Thanks pre-sale tickets: additional $10 booking fee