Battle of Brisbane gives knock-out boost to city economy

Brisbane continues to reap the rewards of its major events strategy with the landmark world title bout between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao providing a huge boost to the city’s economy, including $354 million of international online media coverage. 

The result, based on media advertising equivalents, marks the largest event coverage for Brisbane since the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit, which generated $180 million of media coverage across all mediums. 

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that during the first weekend of July, Brisbane was the capital of the sporting world. 

“More than 31,000 online news articles referenced the bout, with 5 per cent of these articles mentioning Brisbane directly in the headline,” Cr Quirk said. 

Big-ticket international outlets that covered the event included the Daily Mail UK, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, Forbes, IGN, USA Today, The Washington Post and Inquirer.

“The bout was also telecast live to ESPN’s 94 million subscribers,” the Lord Mayor said. 

“The telecast proved incredibly popular and has now become the highest-rated US cable television boxing event in a decade and the most-streamed boxing match in ESPN history.”

The highly anticipated event was a hot topic around the world, with 90,000 mentions across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. 

“Battle of Brisbane put our homegrown athlete, high-energy event and famous sunshine front and centre,” Cr Quirk said.

“There will be a huge number of people out there, particularly in the United States, whose first impression of Brisbane will now be hosting a record-breaking boxing event. 

“This level of exposure is invaluable in raising awareness and helping people see our city as a destination for live sporting events and entertainment. 

“Brisbane’s hospitality and accommodation sector experienced a huge boost as a result of the event, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from hoteliers and retailers in the Caxton Street precinct.”

Brisbane hotels were filled to capacity, with the Sunday night providing an 80 per cent rise in revenue compared with the same Sunday last year.

“I’m proud of Jeff Horn’s huge achievement and unshakable professionalism, delighted to see the city celebrate our local champion and thrilled with the boost the event has injected into our economy,” Cr Quirk said.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council partnership helped leverage a world-class event.

“Our investment paid off with more than 51,000 fans attending the Battle of Brisbane - Australia’s largest-ever boxing fight - in what was a major boost to our economy,” Ms Jones said. 

“The event was a huge driver for visitation, with more than 37 per cent of the attendees travelling from outside Queensland, including 11 per cent internationally. 

“The city’s hotels, bars, restaurants and venues were full while QPAC and QAGOMA reported increased walk-ups from out-of-region visitors.

“The Battle of Brisbane was forecast to pump $23 million into our economy, but more than that it underlined Queensland’s reputation as Australia’s premier events destination.

“Our It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar, which is worth $600 million to the state’s economy, continues to grow and the Battle of Brisbane provided a taste of things to come with the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and, of course, the Commonwealth Games still to come.”

Dean Lonergan, Director of Battle of Brisbane promoters Duco Events, said the   $354 million of international advertising value of the Battle of Brisbane was massive. 

“This is a big win for Brisbane and Queensland tourism and reinforces the value of government investment in big events.”

The WBO Welterweight World Title bout was secured by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in partnership with the Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing. Battle of Brisbane is promoted by DUCO Events and Top Rank.