International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney opens today with more than 500 secured bookings and expectations of running 1,000 events annually by year three of operation, according to the centre’s CEO Geoff Donaghy.
Three years in the making, the A$1.5 billion (about US$1.1bn) venue celebrates its grand opening with exhibitions including ‘The Hunger Games: The Exhibition and Brickman’ and ‘Wonders of the World Exhibition’, as well as performances from international acts PJ Harvey and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
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International business events will follow in the new year, with Amway China Leadership Seminar and Reed Gift Fair in the lineup.
Donaghy says the opening of the integrated precinct will herald in a new era of events and entertainment in Sydney.
“ICC Sydney is an important component of the State’s suite of infrastructure projects and will contribute at least $5 billion to the local economy in the next 25 years.
He adds: “The precinct will also support local and regional businesses. From partnering with NSW wine makers and farmers, to supporting an influx of business tourists who will engage with local retailers and undertake pre and post event touring, the benefits will be wide-ranging and enduring. Today is a defining moment not just for Sydney, but for the whole State.”
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Stuart Ayres, minister for trade, tourism, major events and sport, says the venue a “game changing destination” that will see “event organisers clamouring to be part of its year round calendar of events”.
He adds: “The venue is the centrepiece of the AU$3.4 billion, 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour and I’m in no doubt that it is an integral part of the future success of our leisure and tourism industries.”
ICC Sydney offers five star convention and exhibition centres, 8,000sqm of meeting room space and 35,000sqm of exhibition space. The venue is home to three world-class theatres, one of which houses Australia’s biggest stage area, the nation’s largest Grand Ballroom, and a 5,000sqm event deck.
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Main picture: Stef Dawson and Chloe Familton of Girl Guides NSW & ACT at the opening of the The Hunger Games: The Exhibition.