New South Wales Minister For Sport Calls Top U.S. Leagues An 'Untapped Opportunity'
New South Wales Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has "outlined his plan to bring the NBA, NHL and NFL to Sydney following the harbour city's successful staging of the Major League Baseball's opening series this year," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Ayres believes the major U.S. sports "remain an untapped opportunity and plans to aggressively pursue them during his time in office." Ayres: "There are opportunities around the U.S. sports and the MLB showed we can do festival events. ... I can't see any reason why we wouldn't look at NFL, NHL [and NBA] as ways we can showcase NSW to the world -- like we did with the MLB." The MLB series opener between the L.A. Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground was "hailed a success, exposing the city to 15,000 overseas tourists and a television audience of about 175 million viewers." Sydney also "recently hosted an ice hockey exhibition clash between arch rivals Canada and the United States." Ayres said, "For the U.S. sports, Sydney is a great location if you want to get into the Asian markets. We're in the right time zone, we're good for TV. If you're looking to diversify your product, then Sydney and NSW is eminently a market you should be considering" (SMH, 8/9).