Feastival of football attracting football Royalty to Perth

In Attractions, Australian Domestic Tourism, Featured Home Page News, Western Australia

Football powerhouses Manchester United, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace will host a two-night International Festival of Football at Optus stadium in July.

The last time United visited the WA Government said it was a bonanza for hotels, restaurants and tourism operators, bringing a $16.5 million boost to the economy with 13,000 visitors from 30 countries and interstate.

The festival of football follows the NRL State of Origin on June 26 with the Wallabies clashing with England a week later.

Premier Mark McGowan said “Hosting major events in Perth such as the Festival of Football generates huge economic and social benefits to the city and the State, while also providing the opportunity to sell our unique attractions to audiences across Australia and the world.

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Sporting giants Manchester United will head a blockbuster weekend of English Premiership football at Optus Stadium in July.

The Red Devils will be joined by Leeds United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace for the two-night International Festival of Football.

Leeds United and Crystal Palace will clash on Friday July 22 with Manchester United taking on Aston Villa the following day.

The State Government said clubs had committed to bringing full squads, giving fans the chance to watch players like Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo whose grandparents, Jose Vivieros and Maria-Angela Spinola, moved to WA about 20 years ago from Funchal in Madeira.

The clubs will set up “home venues” from July 18: Manchester United at the Pica Bar, Leeds United at Gage Roads, Crystal Palace at the Leederville Hotel and Aston Villa at the Raffles Hotel.

The Red Devils’ visit, revealed by The West Australian last month, will be their second high-profile trip to Perth in three years, along with Leeds United.

Manchester United played Perth Glory and Leeds in a 10-day tour, beating Glory 2-0 in front of 50,206 fans while another 55,274 spectators watched the 4-0 demolition of a weakened Leeds.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Credit: AP

They will tour under new manager, Erik ten Hag.

When United last visited the WA Government said it was a bonanza for hotels, restaurants and tourism operators, bringing a $16.5 million boost to the economy with 13,000 visitors from 30 countries and interstate.

Pre-COVID, the State Government was working on a deal to bring Italian giant Juventus to Perth for $US5 million ($6.65m).

The football festival follows the NRL State of Origin on June 26 with the Wallabies clashing with England a week later, both at Optus.

Premier Mark McGowan said: “Hosting major events in Perth such as the Festival of Football generates huge economic and social benefits to the city and the State, while also providing the opportunity to sell our unique attractions to audiences across Australia and the world.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: A general view whilst teams warm up during the match between the Perth Glory and Manchester United at Optus Stadium on July 13, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
Perth Glory and Manchester United at Optus Stadium on July 13, 2019. Credit: Will Russell/Getty Images

“This will be another major boost to our tourism and hospitality sectors, which are able to take advantage of Perth and Western Australia’s reputation as a safe and appealing destination for visitors who are looking for an experience they can’t get anywhere else.”

Tourism Minister Roger Cook said the calendar of sporting events sent the message that “WA is open for business and tourism”.

“Perth is going to experience the most amazing month of major sporting events,” he said.

Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman said: “It is very exciting to get teams of such high calibre, with such a massive fan base, playing here in Perth.”

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, May 5.

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