The city of Townsville is claiming a win after hosting State of Origin game 1 Wednesday night, despite the Maroons not nabbing a victory on field.

Townsville’s State of Origin was a huge success, drawing a new record crowd to Queensland Country Bank Stadium as well as tens-of-thousands of people out to events at Flinders Street, Riverway, North Shore and into venues throughout the city.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the atmosphere had been electric and that it ranked as one of the best nights the city had ever seen.

“This was an unparalleled experience for our city and not one that anyone believed would ever happen for us,” Cr Hill said.

“Visiting Flinders Street was surreal, and it was so exciting to see our city playing host to such a huge crowd of people who were enjoying live music, great food and a fantastic game of footy.

“While the Queensland Maroons weren’t able to secure the win on the field, it’s safe to say that Townsville was the big winner in Origin 1 2021.”

Cr Hill said the game and associated festivities were expected to inject around $7 million into the local economy.

“Hosting the first origin game to be played outside of an Australian capital city has provided a boon for our local tourism and hospitality sector,” she said.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to every single person that was involved in pulling this massive community event off.

“It takes an extraordinary amount of effort and usually around 12 months of planning to deliver an event of this scale. We did it in nine days. The whole city has worked together to deliver one of the best nights of entertainment Townsville has ever seen.

“This includes our local businesses who rallied around the call to bring the State of Origin to Townsville, as without their support none of this would have been possible.”