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THE ACT Government will ramp up negotiations with the AFL, football and hockey to complete its 2013 Centenary celebration after securing a Canberra clash between international netball’s biggest rivals.
Nanjing Night Net

The government will announce this week that Australia will play a Test match against New Zealand at the AIS Arena next year. It is understood the trans-Tasman clash will be part of the Constellation Cup series between the teams and potentially the deciding game in October.

The announcement follows negotiations with Netball Australia. The main sticking point was an increased cost for the Test given the AIS Arena can only hold about 4000 fans for a netball match.

Constellation Cup contests can attract up to 9000 fans and Netball Australia will lose out on revenue from an extra 5000 ticket sales, which could add up to $200,000. The government will have a ”live site” at the AIS for fans to watch the match on a big screen and give them a chance to meet the players.

It’s the latest addition to a bumper year of sport to celebrate Canberra’s 100th birthday.

With netball locked in, the government will now wait for the AFL to issue its draw for next year and there is also the possibility of the capital hosting one of the league’s major events.

The Sun-Herald understands the ACT Government is talking to the AFL about moving one of its biggest off-field events to Canberra to promote the game. The options include the season launch, the draft, the Hall of Fame dinner or the Brownlow Medal.

The blockbuster sporting calendar already includes the rugby league Anzac Test, Australia’s one-day cricket team playing at Manuka, a British and Irish Lions touring match against the Brumbies and the women’s golf Australian Open. The Socceroos schedule for next year is yet to be released, but ACT Sport Minister Andrew Barr is confident the team will play in the capital.

An international hockey fixture also is likely to be scheduled for the second half of next year.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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