The City of Parramatta has sprung back to life in the autumn and early winter of 2021 despite the continuing uncertainty brought by the pandemic, and while large gatherings are not allowed at the moment, the city is looking forward to hosting more great events in the future.
Major events held from March through to June included the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park and the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival featuring the Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill Gardens.
These were complemented by sporting fixtures led by the GWS Giants, Western Sydney Wanderers and Parramatta Eels.
The City of Parramatta also staged its first in-person Covid-safe major event for the year with Parramatta Nights which included rooftop hangouts with local artist performances and open-air cinemas, which attracted more than 16,000 visitors to the city.
These events and sporting fixtures show the confidence that visitors and investors have in the City of Parramatta, which continues to grow as a business and residential location, a spokesperson said.
In April, the Sydney Royal Easter Show welcomed nearly 800,000 people during the 12 days of the show. This included ticket holders, agricultural and commercial exhibitors, staff, volunteers and others working at the show.
Eight of the 12 days were sold out, with the show contributing significantly to the local economy.
Current figures were not available but in 2015 the RAS commissioned a size and scope study and found that the Sydney Royal Easter Show contributed $247 million to the NSW economy.
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) successfully delivered a Covid-safe event with the daily capacity limits dispersing crowds and ultimately creating history through higher mid-week attendance, the spokesperson said.
RAS general manager agriculture and the show Murray Wilton said following an incredibly tough year for all Australians, the show was an incredible success.
“The show has provided an opportunity for our farmers and Sydneysiders to come together safely and celebrate everything we know and love about rural Australia: farmers, food and family fun."
The Australian Turf Club’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival featuring the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill Gardens (and The Star Championships at Royal Randwick) was held in March and April.
Hosted under Covid-safe protocols with capacity crowds, the three consecutive Saturday Rosehill Carnival days attracted more than 20,000 spectators including almost 6000 local businesses, corporate partners and turf club members.
Economic analysis before the Covid restrictions found the Sydney Autumn Carnival annually contributes up to $62 million into NSW with an estimated 40 per cent generated in Sydney’s West.
Australian Turf Club CEO Jamie Barkley said: “Growing tourism and major events in the economic powerhouse of Sydney has never been more vital and the ATC’s world-class venue at Rosehill Gardens stands as one of the region’s biggest employers and a major driver of economic activity.”
The GWS Giants kicked off their AFL season at Giants Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park against St Kilda.
Despite the disruption to the season with matches moving to accommodate lockdowns, the team has enjoyed large crowds at its games.
Around 30,000 people attended across the four GIANTS home games, generating significant match day revenue.
At the home game on May 23 against the West Coast Eagles, the Giants celebrated the team’s first decade.
Special celebratory activities included historical walks, special food and beverage options, anniversary activities and prizes for members and fans. This was topped off by a win for the Giants on their home turf.
“Sydney Olympic Park is a great central location for our home ground and training facilities. It’s very accessible for our fans, and GIANTS Stadium has a great atmosphere where the crowd can get right behind the team,” GWS Giants chief executive David Matthews said.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC’s home ground, BankWest Stadium in the heart of Parramatta, welcomed more than 73,000 fans at its games held between March 2 and May 30.
The Wanderers welcomed the biggest crowd of the A-League season in Australia to BankWest Stadium on May 1 when 20,336 supporters watched the Wanderers beat Sydney FC in a local derby.
Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said that playing in the heart of Parramatta was really important to the team’s success.
“We are fortunate to have the newly-built BankWest Stadium as our home ground. It provides easy access for our Western Sydney fan base, and creates a wonderful atmosphere for our members and players alike,” he said.
Hosting large events in Parramatta brings local people together and encourages others to visit the vibrant locations within the region.
Living with the pandemic for more than a year has shown that major events are welcomed and can proceed with Covid-safe measures in place.
The myriad of events in the City of Parramatta significantly contributes and supports the growth of the local economy.
The city is looking forward to hosting more events in the future to welcome people back into the city in a Covid-safe way once lockdown is lifted.
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