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Gold Coast SUNS to play in Shanghai in 2017

The Gold Coast SUNS today joined the AFL and Port Adelaide Football Club in making an historic fixture announcement confirming the two teams will play a Toyota AFL Premiership match in Shanghai in 2017.
 
The match in Shanghai, will see the Port Adelaide Football Club host the Gold Coast SUNS on Sunday May 14 at Jiangwan Stadium.
 
Gold Coast SUNS Chairman, Tony Cochrane, said this match was a milestone moment in the club’s history.
 
“We are extremely proud to be selected to play in the first ever AFL Toyota Premiership match in China. We thank both the Port Adelaide Football Club and the AFL for this privilege,” Mr Cochrane said.
 
“This is a historical moment for our game and we are excited by the opportunity that awaits, not only in China but also for us on the Gold Coast.
 
“China is the number one international tourism market for the city of the Gold Coast, and increasingly both China and the Gold Coast enjoy a strong tourism and business relationship.
 
“We have strong links to the region through our long-term partner, Huawei, and with the direct exposure this will generate for the city, we look forward to growing our football club and our business relationship with our friends in China,” he said.
 
AFL Chief Executive Officer, Gillon McLachlan, who made the announcement alongside Mr Cochrane and Port Adelaide President David Koch at The Chinese Museum in Melbourne today, and said the AFL was proud to be taking Australia’s Indigenous game to one of the world’s greatest and most exciting cities.
 
“Today we announce that a Toyota AFL Premiership match will be held in Shanghai next year, as part of our commitment to growing sporting relationships with Australia’s biggest trading nation,” Mr McLachlan said.
 
“We are proud that Australian Football will play a bigger role in deepening the historic connections between Australia and The People’s Republic of China.
 
“We believe we have the most exciting and athletic game in the world, and the chance to showcase our game in China is too good an opportunity to pass up.
 
“Our game exists in a global sporting market place, and this event is part of our broader strategy to reach into new markets, both inside Australia, and across our region.
 
“We have one million people of Chinese origin living in Australia, we have many students who chose Australia to live and study, and Chinese tourists are our number one visitors here, so reaching out to this community both here and abroad is critical for us as a game.
 
The match, a SUNS home game, will be broadcast live back into Australia on the Seven Network and on CCTV throughout China.
 
Playing  home games away from the team’s traditional home is very common. Hawthorn, North Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and the GWS Giants all played matches away from their traditional home in 2016.

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