Premier Mark McGowan welcomed the first team to arrive this morning, Leeds United, which has been enthusiastically adopted by the people of Fremantle as part of the 'More than a Match' program to spread the festival atmosphere across Perth all week.
The matches are expected to attract thousands of interstate and international visitors, support local jobs and businesses, and see millions of dollars generated for the WA economy, as well as generate extensive global media coverage and publicity for the State.
Almost 100,000 spectators will descend on Optus Stadium over two huge nights to witness Crystal Palace play Leeds United on Friday 22 July, followed by Aston Villa versus Manchester United on Saturday 23 July for ICON: Perth's Festival of International Football.
The festival is supported by the State Government in partnership with VenuesLive, VenuesWest, Left Field Sports and TEG Sport.
The matches will be played at the award-winning Optus Stadium, which was recently named Venue of the Year at the internationally acclaimed TheStadiumBusiness Awards in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Ahead of the games, fans can get up close and personal with their football heroes via a series of 'More than a Match' festivities throughout Perth, including at open training sessions, pre-match parties and 'Meet the Legends' events.
Pre-match celebrations kick off in Fremantle today, with a free entry to the Leeds United open training session from 3.30pm.
Fremantle's café strip has been adorned in Leeds United's blue, white and yellow colour scheme, ahead of the team's pre-match party at Gage Roads in Fremantle on Friday afternoon.
The ticketed Manchester United open training session, to be held at the WACA this Thursday, has already sold out. Proceeds from this training session are being donated to Telethon.
Earlier this week, the Aston Villa Foundation supported the launch of the WA Blind Football League for vision impaired players at Perth Soccer Club, followed by a series of grassroots football clinics with Football West.
Crystal Palace will meet fans at their own pre-match party at the Leederville Hotel, with Aston Villa to do the same at Raffles Hotel, while PICA Bar in Northbridge will host Manchester United.
Manchester United and Crystal Palace legends will also participate in a friendly penalty shoot-out demonstration at Elizabeth Quay, including a floating goal and local junior soccer players.
Players from all 4 teams will also participate in a range of Tourism WA-hosted activities during their stay, which will showcase Perth's unique tourism offerings to the teams' significant social media audience.
ICON: Perth's Festival of International Football has been funded through the Reconnect WA package, which provided funding in the 2022/23 financial year to secure blockbuster events for Perth.
Supporting major events like ICON is part of Tourism WA's strategy to attract more visitors to the State and into Perth to boost hotel occupancy, support for local businesses and tourism operators, and to activate Optus Stadium.
The festival caps off an unprecedented month of elite major event sports in Perth, with:
More than a Match events
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