NRL IN TOOWOOMBA: The million dollar game
NEWS of an in-principle agreement for the Gold Coast Titans to play more NRL games in the Garden City in years to come has been welcomed by the region's businesses.
The good news for them is that each game could pump more than $1 million into the Toowoomba economy.
The announcement came after lobbying efforts from Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, Toowoomba Regional Council, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and the Western Mustangs.
"With the number of visitors in town there is an upward of $1 million boost there," TSBE CEO Shane Charles said.
"There are 3500 visitors coming who will bring $500,000 just through accommodation booking those nights alone."
The Gold Coast Titans' trip to Toowoomba for an historic first NRL game in the city next year will not be a one-off.
The Chronicle can reveal a deal in principle has been reached between the Titans and a Toowoomba business consortium for the city to host an NRL game each year for years to come.
"The Titans are absolutely chomping at the bit to be involved with us for the next three or four years," Hutchinson Builders business manager Nick Barker said.
"They've indicated that with what we are trying to do they are committed and aim to do this every year."
While the agreement has yet to be signed formally, the deal will likely provide a huge economic boost for the region. Plans for next year's game between the Titans and St George Illawarra, however, are already gathering pace.
The consortium is exploring coach and air transport options to bring as many St George Illawarra fans into the Garden City as possible.
The swell of supporters set to make their way to Toowoomba has left organisers weighing up options to expand the capacity of Clive Berghofer Stadium.
"We're looking at opportunities to increase the capacity from 9000," Mr Barker said.
"We would love it if we could increase that to 11,000 so we are looking at short-term hire solutions.''