Tent city springs up in Townsville as all the hotels fill up ahead of State of Origin clash
- Tent city established for first State of Origin Game on Wednesday
- Townsville had ten days to organise the game which was moved from Melbourne
- Fans buy tickets at $285 per night due to accommodation shortage
A temporary tent city has been hastily erected in Townsville to accommodate rugby league fans who have been caught out by a hotel shortage in the city ahead of Wednesday night’s State of Origin clash.
Footy Basecamp was set up over concerns the Queensland city did not have enough rooms to fit in the many thousands of fans who were expected to travel north for the series opener.
The game was moved from Melbourne to Townsville at short notice due to Victoria’s latest Covid-19 lockdown, giving the far north Queensland city only ten days to prepare for one of the country’s biggest sporting events.
The tent city has space for 200 people, and is expected to fill up when NRL releases an extra 2000 tickets for the game on Tuesday at 2pm.
A severe shortage of accommodation for NRL ticket-holders has forced some to consider staying in a tent city in Townsville (pictured)
The twin share tents are fitted with raised mattresses (pictured) and are selling for between $185 to $285 per night
A hundred tents were trucked from Gympie to the site, and fans staying there will be provided with transport to and from the game, 24-hour security, bathroom facilities and power.
Despite the rudimentary fittings and fold-out beds, the tents do not come cheap, with prices ranging from $185 to $285 per night.
Townsville is expected to welcome more than 10,000 patrons on game day with the city’s restaurants, bars and clubs fully booked in preparation.
Game One of the series is expected to inject $7 million dollars into the local economy.
There will be live sites established to allow those without a ticket to watch the game across the community.
100 tents were trucked from Gympie and fans staying at the temporary site (pictured) will be provided with transport to and from the game, 24-hour security and toilet facilities
The tent city (pictured) has space for 200 people, and is expected to fill up when NRL releases an extra 2000 tickets for the game on Tuesday at 2pm
Last week around 2000 extra seats were trucked from the Gold Coast and Sydney to increase Queensland Country Bank’s Stadium capacity to just shy of 28,000.
Local council has also unveiled large plans to transform the main strip of Flinders Street.
Giant screens will be erected to cope with overflow with bands and entertainment scheduled throughout the day.
Caxton Street is well known for its game-day buzz in Brisbane and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says she believes the same can be done up north.
‘We’re going to really ramp up the atmosphere of the street eats events we’ve held recently and continue it along the entirety of Flinders Street and throughout Central Park with roving entertainers leading the way to the Stadium,’ she said.
The game was moved from Melbourne to Townsville at the last minute, forcing the city to prepare for the event in only ten days. Pictured: Daly Cherry-Evans of Queensland and Boyd Cordner of New South Wales pose with the State of Origin trophy