Port retains State Cup on three-year deal

Port Macquarie will remain the home of the State Cup after securing one of the most competitive tender bids in the tournament’s history.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (PMHC) and the Port Macquarie Touch Association (PMTA) edged out a number of leading contenders in Wollongong, Queanbeyan, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo to stage the state’s most celebrated touch tournament for a further three years.

NSW Touch Association (NSWTA)General Manager Dean Russell said he was looking forward to working with both organisations to continue growing the event over the next three years.

“While the NSWTA is extremely pleased to continue our long association with the Port Macquarie community in hosting the State Cup, it was a close-run race with compelling tenders from all five venues,” Mr. Russell said.

“We were suitably impressed by the quality of all the tenders, which highlighted how important this marque event is to Councils across the state. All pitched compelling arguments for the worth of their venue and bringing the State Cup to their community.

“While we have a long relationship with the Port Macquarie region, Council, and the community, this placement was a hard-fought win and demonstrated that there is a genuine sense of not only wanting us to stay but to work with us to make the event bigger and better year on year.”

The State Cup and Port Macquarie have a long and storied history, with the very first Cup played here in 1977. While some 32 teams participated then, the event has grown to over 200 teams annually.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peta Pinson was delighted by the news and the economic and social benefits such a high-profile tournament brings to the region.

“Congratulations to PMHC and the PMTA, who – despite all the curveballs faced from COVID and severe weather events – have yet again secured the rights to host one of the most important economic and social events on the Port Macquarie calendar,” Mayor Pinson said.

“It is not only another feather in the cap of these two organisations, but our unsung tourism and hospitality operators who go into overdrive during the first weekend in December when thousands of players, spectators, and support staff roll into town for the annual touch pilgrimage.

“Thanks also to the NSWTA, Mr. Russell, and the many staff working behind the scenes to make this event as great as it is.

The 2023 State Cup Touch tournament will be played at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium and the recently acquired Tuffins Lane Sporting Precinct from Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December.

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