Sydney FC's two pre-season friendlies against English Premier League clubs Chelsea and Tottenham received two of the top prizes at the 2015 Australian Event Awards.
The Sky Blues managed to bring the EPL giants to Australia in late May and early June for two blockbuster events at ANZ Stadiums.
Both games attracted a combined crowd of over 155,000, with Sydney suffering narrow 1-0 defeats in both friendlies.
The game against Chelsea, which had a crowd of 83,598, was the highest attendance for a football game in NSW since the men's football final at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow said: “We are honoured to have been a big part of these two historic events which brought Australian football and Sydney FC to the attention of the football world.
“To be named as Australia’s Favourite Event and Best Sporting Event is a remarkable achievement for the preparation and organisation we put into running these games.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate our partners ANZ Stadium, Destination NSW and the staff, players and fans of Sydney FC for the work they put in to ensuring this success.”
The three major awards, including the night’s top award – Australia’s Favourite Event, were presented to Stadium Australia Group Managing Director Daryl Kerry.
Mr Kerry said: “We need to thank Destination NSW for the huge role they played in this event – from the commencement of negotiations to the delivery of a complete Sydney fan-engagement tour.
“Events such as these would not happen without the support and vision of Destination NSW – and in particular their CEO Sandra Chipchase.”
Mr Kerry also paid tribute to Sydney FC and the vision shown by Chairman Scott Barlow.
“Sydney FC played a major role and great credit should go to their Chairman Scott Barlow for his foresight in helping to bring these events to life and to his staff for their hard work and co-operation.”
Chelsea FC’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Mr Adrian New, said: “Chelsea FC is honoured and delighted that our match versus Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium has been recognised as the Best Sporting Event of 2015.
“We look forward to visiting the wonderful city and people of Sydney again soon."
Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy said: “This would also have not been possible without the tremendous support we received from our fans throughout our time in Sydney, ensuring it was a memorable experience for everybody involved."
At the conclusion of the tour, the Spurs club and owners declared the Sydney visit “the most successful international tour in the 100-year history of the famous Tottenham club”.
Awards were received for:
• Australia’s Favourite Event (as chosen by the public) for the Tottenham Hotspur tour of Sydney in late May, including the clash between Spurs and Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium in front of 71,549 fans;
• Best Sporting Event for the match between English Premier League champions Chelsea FC and Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium on 2 June that attracted 83,598 fans;
• Best Achievement in Marketing & Communications for the Tottenham Hotspur tour of Sydney.comments