Melbourne retains International Champions Cup hosting rights

Melbourne will continue to host the Australian leg of the International Champions Cup (ICC) pre-season football tournament after agreeing a three-year contract extension.

AS Roma, Real Madrid and Manchester City featured in the first ICC games in the Australian city this month and the Victorian government has secured an extension to its hosting agreement covering 2016 to 2018.

Victoria’s Labor government announced the news yesterday (Sunday) after 99,832 spectators watched Real Madrid beat Manchester 4-1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the finale of the inaugural event on Friday.

Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events John Eren said the new deal will be worth more than A$150m (€100.8m/$111.1m) to Victoria’s economy.

Eren added: “Victorians love big sporting events at the MCG – the crowds prove it. We're strengthening our major events calendar to keep our state strong. The ICC will bring some of the best players on the planet to Victoria, to work their magic at the best stadium in the world. The Cup will be great for fans and great for businesses. Securing it will help grow tourism, jobs and showcase our state to the world.”

The new contract comes with Australian media reports stating New South Wales was attempting to attract the tournament to Sydney.