(Photo: © FIH / Dr. Wolfgang Sternberger)

Melbourne continues to cement itself as the sporting capital of the world, with tickets now on sale for the world-class ABN AMRO Champions Trophy hosted in Melbourne later this year.

Sports Minister James Merlino said the eyes of the world’s hockey community will turn to Melbourne’s state-of-the-art State Netball Hockey Centre when it hosts the ABN AMRO Hockey Champions Trophy Men 2009 from 28 November to 6 December.

“Melbourne continues to build on it status as the sporting capital of the world attracting the world’s best sporting and major events to our jam-packed sporting calendar,” Mr Merlino said.

Australia is one of the pre-eminent forces in world hockey with both our men’s and women’s teams winning at multiple Olympic Games, World Cup and Champions Trophy competitions.

“We’re expecting hockey fans from Europe, Asia and Australia to come out in force for this nine-day showdown of the world’s best men’s hockey teams.

Mr Merlino said teams competing at the tournament include world number one, Germany, world as well as Spain, England, Korea, Netherlands and the world number two Kookaburras.

The tournament sees the top six internationally ranked men’s hockey teams battle it out for this prestigious Trophy, as well as world ranking points.

Mr Merlino said the Brumby Government was committed to hosting major sporting events that place Melbourne in the national and international spotlight, boost tourism and promote sport and investment.

“The event will also have a positive flow-on effect for the sport of hockey, not only at an international level but at the grassroots level as well,” he said.

The men’s Champions Trophy will follow the Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy Women 2009 which will be held in Sydney in July 2009.

Hockey Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson said that he is committed to ensuring that we are able to host hockey’s premier international events on home soil.

“This tournament presents a great opportunity for fans to witness world class hockey and support one of Australia's most successful teams and we appreciate the Victorian Government's support in bringing this world class event to Melbourne,” Mr Anderson said.

Australia has proven over a number of years to be amongst the world’s elite hockey nations and with expectations high, we encourage all sports fans to come out and cheer on our Australian players as they take on the best five teams from around the world.”

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster: www.ticketmaster.com.au.

Source: Minister of Sport & Recreation, Victoria, Australia