Brisbane residents have risen to the challenge to parade their true colours in support of our local sporting teams

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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Well, we predicted June would be a big month of footy when we launched our Show Your Colours campaign, and you delivered! Whether you were supporting rugby league, rugby union or AFL – or all three – you turned out in droves and we were rewarded with some of the biggest sporting moments in the history of each code.

By showing your support for your team you also helped boost the local economy and promoted our city by ensuring packed houses were beamed all over the country and the world. Take the British and Irish Lions tour as an example. It has been 12 years since the old guard banded together to storm Australia’s shores in the hope of gaining some revenge after their series loss to the Wallabies in 2001. And with games against both the Queensland Reds and Wallabies scheduled for Brisbane, we were guaranteed millions of viewers around the world would be focussed on our city and its ability to host major sporting fixtures.

As usual, the Lions were well supported on the ground as well with a jovial sea of red swamping Brisbane in the days leading up to the test match to occupy every hotel room, pub, restaurant and café available and keep local cash registers ringing. And while the scoreboard may not have gone our way, we still had a major victory. It is estimated that 70,000 visitors came to Brisbane for this match and others, bringing an estimated $17.5million in economic benefits with them.

On the AFL front, the Brisbane Lions’ magical performance against Geelong will go down in the record books as one of the greatest comebacks of all time. The match was written off by the critics as a Lions loss before a ball had been kicked. However, something sparked the Lions into action to overcome a 52 point deficit in the third quarter to win the match, and I’m going to attribute a large part of it to the 24,000 Brisbane fans who answered our call to arms and got out and showed their colours in the face of adversity. This match will be one that is talked about by generations of footy fans for years to come and it was the perfect example of the rewards of getting out and supporting your team in the flesh. And then there was State of Origin. The stage was set for an epic match with Queensland facing its first series loss in nine years and the NRL using Brisbane as a guinea pig for its new sin bin laws. All eyes were fixed on our city and you, again, delivered with a monster turnout to show your colours.

For days before the match television coverage was beamed around Australia showing Brisbane’s streets were full of pre-game atmosphere as scores of people went to work or university or school sporting maroon. People were so keen to show their colours that some were even brave enough to wear blue. Lucky for us Queensland fans, we were able to lift the boys at home and help them stun New South Wales for an emphatic win to keep us in the contest. But, like the other codes, the real victory was that people rose to the challenge and showed their true colours in support of their local teams and the local economy and, for that, I thank you. It all helps to make Brisbane not only an enthusiastic and exciting place to visit, but to live in as well.

As seen in bmag issue 261