Packed house for AAMI Park’s opening
A 30,000-strong crowd will turn out for the opening of Melbourne’s new rectangular stadium.
Sports Minister James Merlino said final remaining tickets for this Friday night’s International Rugby League Test between Australia and New Zealand at AAMI Park sold out this morning.
“Victorians love their sport and AAMI Park is a great addition to Melbourne’s first-class network of sporting infrastructure, that reaffirms us as the sporting capital of the world,” Mr Merlino said.
“Our multi-million dollar stadium is something all Victorian sports fans will be proud of and it is a fantastic achievement to sell out the new state-of-the-art venue on its opening night.
“There’s no question that a rectangular pitch has been the missing link in our world-famous network of sporting infrastructure in Melbourne – and the blockbuster trans-Tasman test between the Aussies and the Kiwis will open the stadium in style.
“AAMI Park will set a new Australian benchmark for rugby league, rugby union and soccer.”
Mr Merlino said Victorians would see Melbourne Storm stars Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Adam Blair and Sika Manu represent their countries.
The clash is a highlight of an exciting package of Rugby League events secured for Melbourne including an international Test between Australia and England on October and Game One of the New South Wales and Queensland State-of-Origin series in 2012.
“We’re proud to support major sporting events that place Victoria in the national and international spotlight, promote sport, encourage investment and boost tourism in our state,” Mr Merlino said.
“The Brumby Labor Government is committed to attracting the best events to Victoria and we continue to invest in major infrastructure to ensure our sporting precincts remain world-class.”
Mr Merlino encouraged Victorian sports fans to also show support for the Melbourne Storm with tickets on sale now for the club’s first clash against Brisbane at AAMI Park on Sunday, 9 May.
“The Brumby Labor Government is committed to the future of the Melbourne Storm and the game of Rugby League at both the grassroots and elite levels in Victoria,” he said.
“Melbourne has been crowned the Ultimate Sports City for a third consecutive time, proving again what Victorians have known for a long time – we are the world’s sporting capital.
“And Rugby League plays an important part of that vibrant sporting culture we celebrate.”
The Test kicks off at 8pm and the match will be broadcast live in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane on Channel 9.
Go to www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au for public transport information.