The international focus, adrenalin rush and chance for Aucklanders to see top international athletes in the Fast5 Netball series this weekend is being described by the city mayor as a great example of why Auckland has been named the number two Sports City in the world.
Auckland has taken the second spot, behind Olympic Games host London, and ahead of the city recognised as our main regional competitor, Melbourne, in the 2012 International Sports Event Management Awards.
The awards recognise excellence in the global sports event management industry.
â€œRugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 put Auckland on the world stage as a great place to enjoy major sporting events, and everything else the city has to offer,â€ says Auckland Mayor Len Brown. â€œAnd for the city aspiring to be the worldâ€™s most liveable city, beating the current number one liveable city, Melbourne, is a major coup.â€
â€œWe capitalised on RWC 2011 with events like the Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover, Brother Rally New Zealand, and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, which continue to position us internationally.â€
The focus will be sustained with events including the World Softball Championships in March, the V8s returning to Pukekohe in April, the 2015 under-20 FIFA World Cup, the 2017 World Masters Games, and regular fixtures like the Heineken Open and ASB Classic Tennis tournaments.
â€œTo be right up there with London and the Olympics is a phenomenal achievement for Auckland. This win keeps the international spotlight on us as a world-class event destination.
â€œMajor sporting events are a win-win for us â€“ it means Aucklanders and visitors from around New Zealand and around the world can come and see international athletes at the top of their game, they promote Auckland to the world, and bring us visitors who return to their home countries as ambassadors to spread the world about travelling here.
â€œWhen visitors come here for these events, they also discover Auckland is a vibrant and innovative multi-cultural city with a fabulous waterfront, museum and art gallery, an array of superb restaurants, shopping precincts and markets, with wonderful islands, beaches and forests on our doorstep.â€
â€œEach event, the local and international visitors who come to them, their participants and support teams make a significant contribution to our local economy.â€