The 2019 NRL Telstra Grand Final is proving that if a fan has a ticket, they are not afraid to travel, according to new research by Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) with 47% of footy fans willing to travel interstate to see their team play in a grand final, and proud Raiders fans are proving the theory right, buying up tickets and booking hotel beds faster than the end of the Viking Clap.

TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said “this weekend’s NRL grand final between the Roosters and the Raiders is set to be a showdown 25 years in the making.”

“Sporting grand finals are not just about the fans and the love of the game, they also provide massive economic benefits for governments and businesses alike, and when you put an interstate team into the mix the return is even better,” Ms Osmond said.

“Last weekend we saw 14,000 out of the 20,000 Grand Final Tickets sold, snapped up exclusively by Raiders fans, and Sydney is ready and waiting for visitors and locals alike to celebrate their teams and open their wallets.

“Over the last five years NRL Grand Finals have generated more than $108 million in tourism related expenditure, which is a fabulous result for the economy.

“The NRL Grand Final always puts an extra skip in Sydney’s step and the economic benefits run deep, ranging from the ticket sales, to venue operations, food and beverage outlets, to the hotels, bars and restaurants.

“TTF hotel members including IHG, which manages InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, are reporting extremely strong occupancy over the upcoming long weekend, which is an outstanding result,”.

“Thousands of regional visitors are streaming in to Sydney for the long weekend. ANZ Stadiums bus bay is overbooked, and a large number of coaches are coming from the ACT or Queanbeyan which is very exciting.” Ms Osmond said.

86% of those surveyed agreed that regardless of whether they take place in your state or not, sporting events like the NRL Grand Final are important to the tourism and hospitality industry.

According to the research conducted on behalf of TTF by Nielsen Data, sporting events are the highest events attended with 31% of those surveyed having attended a sporting event ahead of those who have attended food and wine events, performing arts, visual arts and cultural exhibitions or music and festivals.