2020 AFL & Marsh Community Series Match

Mayor Jason Schram in Essendon football jumper.

Colac to host AFL pre-season match in 2020

Colac Otway Shire has secured a 2020 pre-season AFL match, with Geelong and Essendon set to play at Colac’s Central Reserve on the Labour Day public holiday next year.

Colac Otway Mayor Jason Schram said he was ecstatic that Colac Otway Shire would have an opportunity to host a 2020 Marsh Community Series match on 9 March, the Monday of the long weekend.

“This is fantastic news for the entire shire, and I think having the game at a 4.40pm timeslot on a public holiday could provide great opportunities for our wider business community and make the game accessible to as many people as possible,” Cr Schram said.

“The scheduling of the game will make it possible for local people to go away for the long weekend and be back to watch an AFL game in Colac on Monday afternoon.

“We could also attract Essendon and Geelong fans to the Colac Otway region for the weekend, boosting tourism and benefiting businesses across the shire.

“Council has been really proactive with promoting Colac to the AFL as the perfect location in regional Victoria to host a pre-season match.

“We have also made sure the AFL is aware that our community is supportive of the pre-season series and I believe Council’s resolution in September to support a pre-season match in Colac has sent a clear message to the AFL that we want to be part of this national sporting series.

“Council completed an economic analysis of last year’s AFL JLT match between Geelong and Essendon which attracted more than 10,000 people, and it showed a direct impact of about $375,500, with the measurable flow-on economic impact as high as $1.065 million.

“The match also aired internationally on Foxtel and as I’ve said before, that incredible level of exposure for Colac and our Shire is invaluable.

“The Great Ocean Road is already on the tourist map but we will now have another opportunity to showcase Colac next year and provide a fantastic major event for our community,” he said.

“Colac Otway would like to thank the AFL for including Colac on the 2020 pre-season calendar and we look forward to working with the AFL over the next four months to ensure the event is a huge success that our community can be proud of.”

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