Sydney will bid to bring MLB Down Under

BY foxsports • February 5, 2011

Sydney will bid to host the opening games of America's Major League Baseball season and poach big sporting and theater blockbusters from rival city Melbourne if the New South Wales (NSW) Coalition wins the March 26 election, The (Sydney) Sunday Telegraph reported.

The baseball series is one of a list of glamor attractions Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell has identified to put NSW back on the map as the premier Australian state for major events.

O'Farrell has pledged to beef up Events NSW by giving the agency more money and power to lure "wow factor" events to the state, beginning with the baseball.

In a departure from Events NSW's staging of boutique-style festivals, the Opposition will also "aggressively pursue" big motor racing, tennis, golf and football fixtures as the rights for events such as the Formula One Grand Prix come up for bidding.

O'Farrell told The Sunday Telegraph that NSW had become complacent since the 2000 Olympics and was now losing millions of dollars in tourism, convention and entertainment business.

It had to think "outside the square" to bring an event like the baseball to NSW, he said.

"This event [baseball] will not only fill the Sydney Cricket Ground, but it will attract massive audiences in the U.S. and Japan," he said.

"In fact, the baseball will have a bigger audience than Oprah."

U.S. talk show queen Oprah recently conducted a whirlwind trip Down Under as part of her "Ultimate Australian Adventure," which is expected to bring in millions of dollars in tourism to the country.

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