Townsville City Council is ready to celebrate North Australia’s first ever State of Origin.

Flinders Street will become the Caxton Street of the north with live music, roving entertainment, food and drink and live screens to watch the game.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the city was already buzzing with anticipation and Council was working hard to build the excitement.

“This is a phenomenal thing to happen for Townsville and an opportunity to showcase exactly how we can turn up the temperature for events of this calibre. Major events like this provide a huge economic boost for our community and provide massive flow-on benefits with initial modelling showing that we can expect a $7 million injection into the economy and nearly 15,000 visitors to the city. We are the events capital of North Australia and we have a community – residents and businesses alike – that embraces the opportunity to showcase our city through major events like State of Origin. I think we’re the perfect location for an event of this scale with a positive community, beautiful weather, and the ability to pull it all together for a great night of revelry. I’d like to thank the Queensland Government and the NRL for their support in getting this across the line for Townsville.”

Cr Hill said work on the game day entertainment was underway with staff kicking off plans to host a massive celebration in Flinders Street.

“Plans to transform Flinders Street into our very own Caxton Street are underway and we’re in the process of locking in vendors for the night,” she said. “We’re going to really ramp up the atmosphere of the street eats events we’ve held recently and continue it along the entirety of Flinders Street and throughout Central Park with roving entertainers leading the way to the Stadium. We are in the initial stages of planning with everything moving quickly now that we’re the confirmed destination, so we’ll keep updating the community as we lock in the details.”

Deputy Mayor Mark Molachino said the rest of Townsville would also be given the chance to play a part of NRL history with activations across the suburbs.

“Council is bringing events to the suburbs as well as the CBD, so everyone can enjoy the Origin regardless of whether they can get to the stadium or not,” Cr Molachino said. “North Shore Oval and Riverway Stadium will be transformed into live sites with big screens to watch the game and food trucks to feed the family. We’re also turning our iconic landmarks right across the city maroon and blue in the days leading up the game. We want the whole city to have a chance to be part of Townsville and NRL history and we’re excited to see everyone throw their support behind their team.”