Football fans on the Gold Coast could get the opportunity to see English Premier giants Manchester City in action, with moves afoot to make a friendly clash in the region a ticketed event.
City is heading Down Under next month to take part in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne against Real Madrid and AS Roma.
But prior to the tournament they are expected to play a friendly match on the Gold Coast against Hyundai A-League side Adelaide United.
The match was originally scheduled as a behind-closed-doors friendly but Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate wants the locals to have the chance to see some of world football’s best players in action.
“I expect there to be a ticketed event on the Coast and we will not give up on it,” Tate said in the Gold Coast Bulletin on Tuesday.
“If money is all it takes [to let fans see a game] I know a lot of business leaders who love the game, so I will pass the hat around and make it work.”
The biggest stumbling block appears to be the cost of using Cbus Super Stadium in Robina to host the match.
The Bulletin’s report says a State Government transport levy and policing requirements were two contributing factors to the stadium being more than twice as expensive as other venues around the country.
Cr Tate wants the Gold Coast City Council to take control over the venue from the Queensland State Government.
“If we owned that space we would hold more events there and the running costs would be worth it,” he said.
“If it were under our administration the gates would be open to allow people to see world-class football, and it is unfathomable there would be a world champion team here and our people would not get chance to see them.”
Football Gold Coast general manager Damien Bresic said they were open to hosting the match, even if they had to find a different venue.“We’d be supportive of playing them anywhere but the question is whether City would want hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ‘cattle’, for want of a better word, running around on a pitch where they’re susceptible to … injuries,” Bresic told the Bulletin.