Labor Government Books A Socceroos Blockbuster

The Socceroos will welcome Greece back to the sporting capital of the world, after the Andrews Labor Government added the international friendly to Melbourne’s calendar of major events.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren made the announcement today with Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou at Etihad Stadium, where the home nation will take on the 2004 European Champions later this year.

The blockbuster will be the two nations’ first outing since 2006, when the Socceroos took on the tourists in front of more than 95,000 fans at the MCG. Greece has a loyal army of followers in Melbourne, so the atmosphere will be electric.

The big games belong in the city that does them best, and there’s no place like Melbourne for the showstoppers.

Some 95,446 fans turned out to watch Liverpool take on Melbourne Victory at the MCG in 2013, while 221,000 spectators watched Real Madrid take on Manchester City and AS Roma at the International Champions Cup last year.

The midweek international is the perfect opportunity for visitors from all over Australia and the world to see the best of everything Melbourne has to offer.

Many will extend their stay and catch an AFL game at the weekend, giving hotels and other businesses a big boost.

Tourism and major events contribute $21 billion to Victoria’s economy annually, and that means jobs and growth. It’s why the Labor Government is aggressively pursuing all the world-class events worth having.

We’ve committed an additional $80 million towards our war chest for events, because we want the very best events in Victoria.

The Etihad Stadium clash will be on June 7.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“This is going to be an epic blockbuster. The Socceroos and Greece always put on a great show. The atmosphere at Etihad Stadium will be electric.”

“These are the big events we want. They keep our restaurants and hotels full, they create a buzz around the city and they stimulate the economy.”

Quotes attributable to Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou

“From a football perspective, Greece will give us a great test over the two matches, and obviously there is some personal significance for me.”

“I am very proud of my heritage and it will be a proud moment to coach the Socceroos against the country of my birth in front of my family and friends in Melbourne.”