Ms Palaszczuk said the much anticipated square off between Horn and Tszyu is a great coup for Queensland’s tourism industry.
“This blockbuster event will be a big shot in the arm too for the Townsville economy," the Premier said. “Jeff Horn is one of Queensland’s favourite sporting star, I know the people of Townsville and North Queensland will jump at the chance to see him box in their own backyard.
“We built the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville to attract world class sporting and entertainment events and it’s the perfect showcase for the region. “The Elton John concert at the venue was a sell-out and I’m confident the Horn v Tszyu fight will be too. “This is a testament to what new infrastructure can do for tourism and business.”
Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 2:00pm, with an attendance of up to 16,000 fans approved in the COVID-Safe site specific plan, with seating available in both the stands and on the field.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the tourism and events industry, but thanks to the efforts of Queenslanders to flatten the curve, we’ve been able to slowly ease restrictions and start reopening our economy," Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We are committed to keep on delivering outstanding content to support the tourism and events industry in north Queensland. “I’m thrilled to be able to confirm this fight will take place at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 and that we’ll be able to welcome 16,000 fans into the stadium.
“That’s 16,000 people that will be spending money in the local economy and supporting local recovery efforts. “It’s the perfect opportunity for interstate boxing fans to fly to Townsville for the fight and then stay on and take a break in the region. “They can experience the Great Barrier Reef, get a taste of the outback or catch a Cowboys game while they’re in town.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said initial projections were that the event would drive 8,550 visitors to Townsville, generating 24,100 room nights and direct and incremental spend of $5.6m.
“With the capacity available, we believe this event will still drive those numbers for Queensland,” she said. “We’ve got coronavirus on the ropes in Queensland. Now we can focus on our economic recovery. “We know that businesses right throughout North Queensland are hurting right now. Events like this are crucial to our recovery – giving a strong boost to the local economy.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart urged Aussies to book their tickets.
“The Coronavirus delivered a hard, below the belt punch for tourism operators everywhere," he said. “This fight couldn’t have come at a better time for local businesses. “From the moment coronavirus hit, we were very clear – we weren’t going to throw in the towel and our persistence has paid off.
“Now more than ever before, we all need something to smile about. Having Queensland’s boxing hero Jeff Horn take on Tim Tszyu in our brand-new stadium in Townsville is something to look forward to.
“Tickets will sell like hot cakes. We’re urging Queenslanders – don’t miss out on this fight, book now.
“Tourism is vital to this region’s economic recovery. We need major events like this one to draw visitors back to North Queensland.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said events like the Horn fight will play a major role in the city’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our tourism and events industry has taken a major hit as we deal with COVID-19 and it’s encouraging to see it picking back up as restrictions in Queensland ease,” Cr Hill said. “Events like the Horn versus Tszyu fight will play a major role in attracting people back into the region where they will spend money at our accommodation, restaurants and shops.”
Co-promoters Dean Lonergan and Matt Rose are both delighted the fight is back on.
“This is a fight all Australia wants to see and waiting a few more months has only added to the excitement and expectation,” Mr Lonergan said.
“It’s fantastic that this showdown will still be staged at Townsville’s wonderful new stadium and I applaud the Queensland Government and Tourism Events Queensland for their efforts to help reschedule the fight for August 26.”
Matt Rose also thanked the efforts of the Queensland Government for ensuring the blockbuster is going ahead.
“It’s going to be worth the extra wait because I can assure you this will be a fight for the ages and one Townsville will long remember,” Mr Rose said.
Former World champion Jeff Horn was thrilled when he heard the news.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” he said. “To finally have a new date and to know I’ll be fighting in Townsville in front of a home crowd is just great. “I’m also proud that this fight will do it’s bit to help Queensland’s economy get moving again and especially North Queensland.”
Tim Tszyu is certainly ready to rumble in just over six weeks.
“I’m really excited for this fight. My Dad fought in front of packed Townsville Stadium. I hope to put on a great show for everyone.”
Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.au from 2:00pm Monday, 13 July.