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Tennis trounces Ashes as hottest summer sport

February 5, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

This year’s Australian Open tennis tournament was a smash hit on and off the court, with Aussies rating it well ahead of the Ashes as the country’s best summer sporting event.

A nation-wide Nielsen poll commissioned by the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) found that 43% of respondents voted for the Australian Open as one of their top three most anticipated sporting event of the summer, making it considerably more popular than the latest instalment of the Ashes Test series against England (33%).

As the first Twenty20 international of the cricket season got underway, it seems cricket retains a broad and enduring appeal for sports fans. The poll showed that 20% nominated the international one-day and Twenty20 series as one of their favourite events – equalling the Sydney-Hobart yacht race in third place – while 19% opted for the increasingly popular local Big Bash Leagues.

Rod Laver Arena

The supporting legs of the Australian tennis season – which include the Brisbane International, Sydney International and Hopman Cup – were next with 16% of votes, just ahead of the Australian Grand Prix (14%) which in turn tipped out the opening round of the V8 Supercar series (13%).

The domestic football season – the A-League, FFA Cup and Asian Champions League – resonated with only 9% of those surveyed, ahead of the Australian legs of the World Surf League (6%), while the Australian international golf season received 5% of votes.

TTF chief executive Margy Osmond said Australia’s great love affair for the country’s summer sporting calendar showed no signs of abating.

“Before summer comes to a close, thousands upon thousands of Australians will have packed up the family and headed to one of our iconic sporting stadia, arenas and ovals to experience the excitement of professional sports,” Osmond said.

“This is fantastic news for the visitor economy, especially for those major events like the Australian Open that attract interstate and even international visitors.

“The Australian Open is estimated to inject more than AUD 280 million in Victoria’s economy and 50% of the 743,000 attendees are from outside Melbourne – that’s a win-win for everyone from sporting fans to airlines, accommodation and hospitality.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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