City Of Newcastle has welcomed competitors in the Australian Women's Masters Hockey Championships for a 10-day tournament that will boost the local economy to the tune of $2.2 million.
Council is a major financial backer of the Broadmeadow event, which will be contested by 41 teams and draw around 1,500 people, and the corresponding men's edition next year.
Together the tournaments are expected to generate more than $5 million in economic gains for the city.
Lord mayor with state captains
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed skippers at today's captains' call at Crowne Plaza before the teams match off at the International Hockey Centre from tomorrow to next Saturday 7 October.
"I'd like to welcome all the players to Newcastle and wish them well for the tournament," the Lord Mayor said.
"City Of Newcastle is proud to back major sporting events like the masters hockey tournaments and we are building our relationship with Hockey Australia to bring more national and international tournaments to Newcastle.
"Their continued arrival is a testament to the great sporting facilities we have and the convenience of hosting big tournaments here in the city, thanks to good transport links and away from the bustle of Sydney.
"Already this year we've seen the Wallabies and Matildas train and play here and we expect the flow of events to continue as we upgrade facilities and work to provide new ones."
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Matt Favier said: “Hockey Australia thanks City Of Newcastle for its support in hosting the Women’s Masters Hockey Championships and next year’s Men’s edition too.
“These tournaments are always a great celebration of hockey, bringing together vast numbers of players who love the game from across the country.”
Between 2,500 and 3,000 players from 85 teams will contest the men’s tournament over 15 days.
Council resolved in July last year to provide Hockey Australia $25,000 each for the two events following the success of the World Grand Masters games at Broadmeadow earlier in the year.
They attracted around 3,000 players, officials and supporters from 30 countries.
In 2015, Newcastle hosted four matches of the 2015 Asian Cup football tournament and last year staged rugby league clashes between the Australian and New Zealand men's and women's teams.
Newcastle also hosted the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in 2013.