THE Full House sign has gone up at ANZ Stadium for tonight’s Arsenal v Western Sydney Wanderers match – the second time in three days that the English Premier League giants have sold out Sydney’s Olympic stadium.
All remaining tickets for tonight’s match were snapped up this morning and with a higher member and sponsor turnout anticipated, there is every chance tonight’s attendance could go close to breaking the record for the highest crowd for a football match at ANZ Stadium in its current configuration.
The benchmark figure is 83,598, which was set when Chelsea played Sydney FC at Sydney’s home of major events in 2015. The highest ever attendance for a football match in Sydney was 104,012 for the 2000 Sydney Olympics Men’s Football Final between Spain v Cameroon when ANZ Stadium was in its Olympic configuration.
More than 160,000 fans will have attended the two Arsenal In Sydney Tour matches by tonight.
An additional 15,000 fans turned out for an Arsenal training session at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
The Arsenal In Sydney Tour matches are the culmination of an 18-month tourism partnership between Destination NSW and the Arsenal Football Club.
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall, said today: “The phenomenal success of the Arsenal Tour has again shown that Sydney is the events capital of Australia.
“Our partnership with the Arsenal Football Club and the subsequent Arsenal In Sydney Tour is another example of the NSW Government’s commitment to building a world-class calendar of events to drive visitation to our State.
“More than 28,000 interstate and international visitors have come to Sydney for the Arsenal matches and to enjoy all that NSW has to offer. These visitors are expected to contribute more than $18 million in visitor expenditure into the NSW economy.”
The Arsenal In Sydney Tour is a joint initiative between the NSW Government’s tourism and major event agency, Destination NSW, Arsenal Football Club and VenuesLive, the operator of ANZ Stadium.
Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said: “We have all been blown away by the reaction from our fans here in Sydney. To have more than 160,000 fans attending the two games plus another 15,000 at open training is remarkable.
“It’s humbling to know we have such a huge following here and our thanks go to all our supporters, the people of Sydney and our partners Destination NSW for making this trip so special. It has given all of us a big lift as we prepare for the dramas of the new season.
“We’ll feel your support from the other side of the world and we’ll work hard to make you proud to be a Gooner.”
VenuesLive and ANZ Stadium CEO Daryl Kerry said the Arsenal In Sydney Tour again emphasised the important role the Stadium played in attracting and hosting world-class events in Sydney.
“The NSW Government must be congratulated on its foresight to form such a strategic partnership with the Arsenal Football Club, with the significant numbers of interstate and international visitors a testimony to the success of this strategy,” Mr Kerry said.
“We will have welcomed more than 160,000 fans through the turnstiles at ANZ Stadium by tonight to see a mighty EPL club in action, and it has been wonderful to see the colour, energy and excitement that this tour has generated throughout NSW.
“The Arsenal Football Club has won many friends with its commitment to this Tour and the class with which the club has conducted itself. Congratulations are in order too for our two Sydney A-League clubs, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers, for the passion with which they have embraced these major events.”