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It's magic: Footy a gold mine for Brisbane's pubs and restaurants


The sold-out NRL Magic Round was a major money spinner for the hotels, restaurants and pubs with the NAB recording $17 million, or 33 per cent above normal takings, going through the tills of businesses around Suncorp Stadium.

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The event, which played games over three days at Suncorp Stadium, was also a sellout with more than 130,000 people attending. Brisbane will host the event again next year but after that the contract with the NRL will be open to negotiation.

The NAB said its data showed accommodation and retail businesses around the precinct saw revenue climb 113 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, followed by restaurants and pubs, which were up 26 per cent.

In the wider Brisbane area, accommodation spend was up 43 per cent and care rentals were up 95 per cent compared to a regular weekend, NAB said.

The Broncos club takings were up between 15 and 20 per cent.

Without major natural attractions Brisbane depends on events like the magic round, rugby internationals, the Ekka and major cultural events, as well as business travel to drive tourism.  The NRL said about 40 per cent of the ticket buyers to Magic Round were from outside Queensland.

The AFL grand final in Brisbane in Brisbane in 2020 generated about $17 million and estimates on the overall revenue generated from this year’s Magic Round event were about $28 million.

The bank’s executive for metro businesses, Julie Rynski, said business levels in the inner city were not yet back to pre-pandemic levels but magic round did a “brilliant job at stimulating activity in metro areas”.

“While the cost-of-living pinch has many Australians making more considered choices to their discretionary spending, our data showed big events such as sport are holding strong,” she said.

“The magic round is a winner. There is certainly more of a vibe in the city when these events take place as fans make the trip in to attend a game or celebrate in the area.

“Many businesses in the inner city are continuing to struggle with foot traffic post-Covid so major events such as these are critical in encouraging people to head back into the city outside business hours.”



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