The Premier, Peter Beattie, has encouraged Queenslanders to get along to Suncorp Stadium on the weekend and support the debut of Queensland Roar in the new Hyundai A League soccer competition.

Mr Beattie said it promised to be a great day and more than 12,000 tickets had already been sold for the opening round clash with the New Zealand Knights.

"The A League is a great initiative and it promises to reinvigorate soccer in this country," Mr Beattie said. "Eight teams will compete in the series from August to February and eleven matches will be at our own Suncorp Stadium.

"We wore a lot of criticism when we went ahead with the redevelopment of Suncorp Stadium but now it is one of the most popular venues in the country and recognised around the world. It has played host to top class rugby league and rugby union players and now our soccer players will have a chance to star."

Mr Beattie said that Queenslanders loved their sport and would always support their own.

"I would encourage everyone to get along to Suncorp Stadium this Sunday and support the Queensland Roar," he said.

"Queensland has a proud tradition of producing competitive sports stars and the establishment of the A-League provides an opportunity for young up and coming soccer players to follow their dreams."

25 August 2005

Media contact: 3224 4500 (Premier's office)