Gold Coast Suns ‘sun’shine moment



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Gold Coast Suns new stadium naming rights partner Image: Gold Coast Suns

The Australian Football League (AFL) club – the Gold Coast Suns – have made last-gasp stadium announcement just weeks out from the start of the AFL season.

The 2023 AFL season will feature 18 clubs and is scheduled to run from March 16th until September 30th.

‘7news.com.au’ stated that the Suns will be hosting their peer team – the Sydney Swans – on March 18th and the new sponsor has arrived just in time.

Melbourne (Australia)-based the Australian Football League (AFL) is a company operating the premier and fully professional competition of Australian Rules football and the AFL Women’s and other competitions.

The Gold Coast Suns is a professional Australian Rules football club that competes in the Australian Football League. The club is based on Queensland’s Gold Coast in the suburb of Carrara (Australia).

The 27,500-capacity Carrara Stadium, known commercially as the Heritage Bank Stadium, is a stadium on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, located in the suburb of Carrara. The stadium is primarily used for Australian Rules football, serving as the home ground of the Gold Coast Suns, who compete in the Australian Football League (AFL).

‘7news.com.au’ further stated that the Suns home venue at Carrara has been called the Metricon Stadium for 12 years but it was revealed at the end of the last season that the construction company was ending the arrangement after going through financial hardships.

The venue is now called the Heritage Bank Stadium with the Queensland-based financial institution taking over.

Last October, the AFL club announced that its relationship with its foundation partner Metricon was over.

The news came after the construction company lost its head honcho and founder Mario Biasin under tragic circumstances, and also needed a $30 million cash injection to stay afloat.

Gold Coast’s major jumper sponsor, Cover-More, also pulled out last year.

It was reported at the time that the club expected to find a new stadium partner within weeks.

The club celebrated its new deal with Heritage Bank on February 22nd.

Said Mark Evans, Gold Coast Chief, “Today (February 22nd) marks a historic occasion for our football club. The Heritage Bank Stadium is a community asset, it’s for the people of the Gold Coast and alongside Heritage Bank, and we will continue to strive to bring engaging and diverse content to the region, for its people. We are a community-focused club with a commitment to our members … so we are thrilled to be able to partner with an organization that shares the same values as we do.”

In the coming weeks the stadium is set to host pop-music icon Harry Styles who will be followed by another Australian favorite, P!NK (American singer-songwriter).

At the start of this month, the Suns Chairman Tony Cochrane announced he was departing in March.

Cochrane was a passionate advocate for the Suns’ importance to the competition in the face of huge external criticism, in particular over the millions of dollars in AFL handouts that kept the club afloat.

But Cochrane has been and still is optimistic, tipping a debut finals appearance in 2023, and saying more “blue chip” sponsorship deals will come through – “When I came here the main media story was, ‘How long will the Suns last? They’ll be gone soon, this is ridiculous, a waste of money’. I had to be a really strong voice to counter that … We’re so stable (now) … I don’t think we need someone to stand up for us anymore.”

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