Brisbane Roar will take international football to the Gold Coast after entering an exciting partnership with the City of Gold Coast to play the club’s forthcoming AFC Champions League (ACL) games in the tourism capital.
The Roar was required to seek another venue for its three ACL Group Stage home matches as the club’s regular home ground, Suncorp Stadium, is not available on ACL Matchday One, Wednesday, 25 February, because of a long standing concert booking there for the day before.
Asian Football Confederation rules (AFC Competition Regulation 19.3) stipulate that all three ACL Group Stage home matches must be played at the same venue.
The Roar will now play three ACL matches at Cbus Super Stadium at Robina, which under Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rules will be rebranded Gold Coast Stadium for those games.
Ticket prices will be set at just $10 for adults and $5 for children with free public transport to and from the games, including free trains for Brisbane-based fans.
The Roar’s opponents include Japanese powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds (Tuesday, 5 May) and South Korean giants Suwon Bluewings (Tuesday, 17 March).
The opening game on Wednesday, 25 February will be decided by qualifying games over the coming week and will include a club from either China, Thailand or Malaysia.
Brisbane Roar FC managing director Sean Dobson said the partnership with the City of Gold Coast had allowed the club to include free public transport in the reduced ticket prices which will allow Roar fans to enjoy a unique “away-game experience” as they travel on the free football trains to and from Robina.
He said the move was the first step of a much broader commitment by the Roar to work with local football communities and expand its footprint and fan base across south-east Queensland.
“We know football fans on the Gold Coast are passionate about the game and these three matches provide them with the opportunity to be involved in the code again – this time at an international level,” Dobson said.
Proposals under consideration by the Roar include staging pre-season games, training camps and skills clinics across the Gold Coast and northern NSW.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he was thrilled with the announcement today.
“This presents a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Gold Coast to the world and further its reputation as a world-class sporting events destination, with an expected television audience of 25 million,” he said.
“We look forward to welcoming the Roar and the visiting teams to our city along with their fans, and I know this quality football will inspire our young local players to greater heights.”