The Emirates Australian Open will continue to call Sydney home for the next eight years, with the New South Wales Government securing the historic event in an agreement with Golf Australia.
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, said the event has been secured for Sydney by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
“The Australian Open is one of the most prestigious events in Australian sport, first held in 1904 and celebrating its 100th edition this November. I am pleased that the event will continue to call Sydney home,” Mr Ayres said.
Golf Australia chief executive officer Stephen Pitt was delighted with the commitment from Destination NSW, with Sydney already about to host its 10th successive national championship.
“We’ve been thrilled with the support from the New South Wales Government, our naming rights sponsor Emirates and the players. Along with the clubs and golf fans of Sydney who’ve really embraced the event, we have raised the global awareness of the championship and also of Sydney as a world-class golfing destination,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Open continues to deliver the world’s best players to Sydney, as evidenced in the past two years when Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have each springboarded to world No.1 status and major championship victories after winning the Stonehaven Cup.”
Golf Australia’s event commercial partner Lagardère Sports (formerly World Sport Group) is excited with the championship’s direction.
“We are thrilled to extend the Australian Open’s stay in one of the world’s most vibrant capitals and premier golfing destinations – what a fitting way to celebrate the centennial year of this prestigious tournament,” said Mark Hardess, president, ASEAN & Australia, Lagardère Sports.
“With the support of the New South Wales Government and our partners, we look forward to continue building upon the event’s success by delivering the strongest player fields and compelling fan experiences that have shaped the tournament’s storied legacy.”
The new agreement means the Emirates Australian Open will be contested in Sydney for a minimum of six of the next eight years from 2016-2023. Mr Ayres said NSW had agreed to potentially let the national championship travel away once every four years as a “release” year during this period.
“The Australian Open has built a home in Sydney and made the last weekend of November a special time on our sporting and events calendar,” Mr Ayres said.
“This year’s Open has once again attracted a high-quality field, including dual major winner, defending champion and world No.1 Jordan Spieth. Our own Masters hero and former Australian Open champion Adam Scott will also line up at The Australian Golf Club from November26-29, so I’d encourage everyone to book their tickets today and get along to this fantastic event.
“The Australian Open is played on some of Australia’s premier golf courses, all located on the doorstep of our amazing city. Within minutes of leaving the tournament, Australian Open spectators will find themselves at one of the Harbour City’s world-class restaurants, hotels or beaches.”
Destination NSW chief executive officer Sandra Chipchase said the Emirates Australian Open forms part of a packed calendar of events for Sydney.
“There is so much on offer for sports fans over the coming months, with the Australian Open joining the V8 Supercars Sydney 500, Sydney Sevens rugby union, World Baseball Classic qualifiers and many more world-class sporting events,” Ms Chipchase said.