Australian Football’s power in Victoria’s regional communities has been emphasised once again, with new figures revealing that over $2.23M was generated in the City of Greater Shepparton economy as hosts of the 2019 V/Line Cup Carnival.
The National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) highlighted the significant economic impact of the four-day carnival, which saw more than 550 of the state’s most talented regional Under 15 players and umpires come together to showcase their talent alongside the very best of their age group.
As the state’s premier regional junior carnival, the V/Line Cup brought participants, family members and support staff from seven Victorian regions to the heart of the Goulburn Valley during the final week in September, with matches held at Deakin Reserve, Princess Park & Mooroopna – along with an official tournament dinner held at the Shepparton Showgrounds.
The significant economic outcome means that the combined impact to local economies since the V/Line Cup Carnivals shift to regional Victoria in 2015 now exceeds $11.3M.
AFL Victoria Head of Community Football Stephen O’Donohue heralded the Greater Shepparton City Council and V/Line for their support in delivering the carnival, saying he was extremely proud of the benefits the carnival continues to deliver for Australian football and the wider community in regional areas.
“The V/Line Cup has long been an important development pathway and opportunity for our young players and umpires to learn and showcase their skills, but it continues to equally act as a terrific celebration of both football and our regional communities,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“To be able to generate over $2M for the local economy in the City of Greater Shepparton’s inaugural year hosting the V/Line Cup is a significant result, and one that we will hope to build on in the future.
“AFL Victoria sincerely thanks the Greater Shepparton City Council for its support in making the event possible, along with V/Line for their incredible longstanding commitment that has helped deliver the carnival for the past 16 years.”
Since 1946, the V/Line Cup has been an important steppingstone for regional footballers, with over 100 regional players drafted into the AFL and AFLW since 2009, including Dyson Heppell, Lily Mithen and Steele Sidebottom.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Cr Seema Abdullah said the region had a proud history of hosting AFL events.
“Greater Shepparton prides itself on being the sporting and events capital of regional Australia and securing events such as the V/Line Cup continues our region’s tradition of hosting high profile AFL events,” Cr Abdullah said.
“The 2019 V/Line cup provided a huge boost for our local businesses during the September school holidays. Cafes, Restaurants, retail shops and attractions enjoyed catering to the large influx of visitors to our town for the four-day competition.
“Council is continuing to maintain our world class facilities as we look forward to hosting this event and more in the future when everyone is ready to rebound from COVID-19.”
As the state works together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, V/Line Cup won’t take place in 2020. However, with the longstanding support of organisations like V/Line and the Victorian community, we look forward to 2021 where the carnival will continue to enable young players and umpires to challenge themselves against the best in their age group from across regional Victoria.