Thursday, May 30, 2024

Perth set to host Italian football blockbuster

Perth is set to transform into a hub of excitement, activity and celebration in the lead up to the Italian football blockbuster between AS Roma vs AC Milan scheduled for the last week of May.

It will be the first time the two Serie A teams have played each other on Australian soil and with tens of thousands of fans expected to turn out to Optus Stadium on Friday, 31 May.

“The City of Vincent is a proud supporter of the local Italian community,” said City of Vincent Mayor, Alison Xamon.

“The WA Italian Club Inc and the Perth Soccer Club, which was formerly known as the Azzuri and has a strong Italian migrant heritage, both call Vincent home.

“We are very excited to support the State Government and Tourism WA to bring the Perth Italian Festival to life.”

A free Little Italy Festival will headline the action after the match on Saturday, 1 June at the WA Italian Club and Dorrien Gardens, featuring Italian food trucks, music and entertainment from 2pm until 10pm.

Other events and activities in the lead up to the game include:

  • AC Milan and AS Roma open training sessions at HBF Park on Thursday, 30 May;
  • club supporters’ event at the WA Italian Club on Thursday, 30 May;
  • AC Milan pre-match event at The Merrywell and AS Roma pre-match event at The Royal in East Perth on Friday, 31 May followed by an official march to Optus Stadium;
  • food trucks, pop-up bars, DJs and merchandise store at Southern Oval, Optus Stadium from 2pm until after the match concludes on Friday, 31 May;
  • Junior football parade at Optus Stadium from 5.30pm on Friday, 31 May.

Former AC Milan great Zeljko Kalac, who represented Australia for over a decade, will also be in attendance across the week, providing meet and greet opportunities for fans.

“Football fans on their own are some of the most passionate in the world, but once you bring Italians into the mix, there’s nothing quite like it,” he said.

“I’m very honoured and excited to be leading the contingent of passionate AC Milan fans over to WA to witness this spectacle and encourage all Western Australians to get on board as well and be part of the festivities!”

The match itself coincides with WA Day celebrations (3 June) and the Italian National Day (2 June), meaning fans will also be able to enjoy the annual WA Day Festival with a free music concert and carnival rides at Burswood Park.

“This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local and travelling football fans to witness two of the biggest Italian football clubs in the world face off at our award-winning Optus Stadium,” said Victorian Tourism Minister, Rita Saffioti.

“Western Australia is truly cementing itself as a world-class destination for major events, and we want these blockbusters to take over our city and generate a real buzz for locals and visitors alike.

“Surrounding the match with these free activations and events will mean that out-of-state fans are more likely to travel earlier or extend their stay over the long weekend, enjoy the festivities and pump more valuable tourism dollars into our local economy. To us, that’s what being an events destination is all about.

“Of course, it’s also a great opportunity for local Western Australians to get out and about and experience the vibrancy and atmosphere that events like these create in our beautiful city.”

For more information about the week of activities and to purchase tickets, visit  https://www.ticketmaster.com.au/milanvroma.

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