The Sunshine Coast will play host to six AFL clubs over the coming months, with the Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs the latest teams to commit to pre-season camps.
They’ll join Collingwood, Hawthorn, St Kilda and Melbourne in calling the Sunshine Coast home at various stages between late November this year and February 2016.
Tourism Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the addition of two more AFL clubs strengthened the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a pre-season destination of choice.
“Council has worked closely with these clubs to convince them to head north and it’s fantastic to have more coming for the first time and others returning,” he said.
“Only a few years ago there was mostly a desire for AFL teams to travel overseas for their pre-season camps – the fact that they are now choosing the Sunshine Coast is testament to our facilities, our environment and the overall experience that our region can offer.
“These clubs travel up here with around 75 players, coaches, trainers and officials and they’re all staying in our hotels, buying food from local shops, training in local gyms, playing golf and engaging with the local community so the economic, sporting and social benefits for our region are enormous.”
Western Bulldogs General Manager of Football Graham Lowe said the club was looking forward to returning to the Sunshine Coast on the cusp of Season 2016.
“Last year’s camp provided us with the perfect platform to leap into what became a season full of growth and reward for us as a club,” he said.
“We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the region and its people as we embark upon on 2016 campaign”.
The Brisbane Lions will set up camp on the Sunshine Coast from January 12-15. The club is planning to host a community activity for local children during its stay.