One of the world's most famous sporting teams – Liverpool Football Club – will play an exhibition match at the Adelaide Oval in July, as part of the club's 2015 pre-season tour.
Liverpool has confirmed it will play South Australia's A-League club Adelaide United at the Adelaide Oval on Monday July 20.
Acting Tourism Minister Tom Koutsantonis said it was a big coup for South Australia.
“The State Government has been in negotiations with Liverpool for many months, and reaching an agreement with one of the world's most popular sporting teams to play at the Adelaide Oval is a great result,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“The redeveloped Adelaide Oval has already hosted a hugely successful inaugural season of AFL football, a Rolling Stones concert which attracted fans from throughout the world, and on February 15 will host one of the most televised matches in cricket history when India meets Pakistan in one of the most highly anticipated matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
“Now, the Oval will host the Reds versus the Reds, which will again thrust Adelaide and the Oval into the world sporting limelight.”
Liverpool FC will be the first English Premier League club to visit South Australia since Sheffield United played Adelaide City at Hindmarsh Stadium in 1994. Liverpool will also play a match against A-League club Brisbane Roar in Brisbane during the tour.
Mr Koutsantonis said it was expected Liverpool FC supporters from around Australia and internationally would travel to Adelaide for the match.
“The State Government is committed to securing a range of major events for the Adelaide Oval, which will deliver significant benefits for city hotels, restaurants and bars, and retailers,” he said.
“Such world-class sporting events are huge drawcards, and we also anticipate a global TV audience for the game, so it is the perfect platform to showcase Adelaide to the rest of the world.”
Liverpool FC Chief Executive Officer Ian Ayre said Liverpool visited Australia for the first time two years ago and the support received from the club's Australian fans was incredible.
“Liverpool FC has more than 600,000 supporters in Australia, and we look forward to meeting as many of them as possible while we are in the country,” Mr Ayre said.
"Pre-season is an important time for the team as they prepare for the upcoming season, and the matches against Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United are an exciting part of that preparation, giving our supporters a chance to see the team up close, no matter how far away from Anfield they live.
“This is a great opportunity for South Australia, and this match could draw an estimated 5000 to 10,000 visitors to the State. We look forward to welcoming the team as well as fans to Adelaide and South Australia.”
Adelaide United Chairman Greg Griffin said playing Liverpool in front of 50,000 fans at the Adelaide Oval and a global TV audience presented a wonderful opportunity to promote the club and football in South Australia.
“Our club, coaches and players are already excited about taking the field against one of the world's most famous football teams,” Mr Griffin said.
“It'll be a great test for our players against Liverpool's international stars, and I'm sure our fans will get behind the match to ensure it's a huge success.
“This enormous opportunity for Adelaide United wouldn't have been possible without the hard work by the State Government and the Liverpool Football Club to make this match happen.”
Corporate Hospitality tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased from www.ticketek.com.au. Further details about general ticket sales will be announced soon.
For more information on ticketing and general Liverpool tour details, go to www.LFCTour.com or the event page on www.SouthAustralia.com
Liverpool fans can pre-register for general admission tickets at: www.ticketek.com.au/lfctour2015