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Ex-boss of Millennium Stadium lands top Aussie job.

Byline: By Paul Carey Western Mail

Former Millennium Stadium chief executive Paul Sergeant has been appointed general manager of Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. He will also be on the management board of Ogden IFC, which manages venues across the Asia Pacific region. Less than six weeks after leaving the Millennium Stadium to pursue a new life down under, the 45-year-old has landed a top job at one of Australia's leading stadiums.

One of the first major international events he will be in charge of will be to welcome Gareth Jenkins's Welsh side. Wales play two Tests in Australia at the end of the season and will complete their tour with a game at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, June 2.

Sergeant replaces Alan Graham who is leaving to pursue private business interests. Suncorp Stadium chief executive Geoff Donaghy said he was delighted to be 'replacing one world-class stadium manager with another' and described the appointment of Sergeant as 'a real coup' for the stadium and Brisbane.

'With 25 years experience in sports and events management, including the delivery of more than 3,000 major events, Paul is rightly considered a global industry leader and was recently recognised with an OBE for services to business,' said Donaghy. 'As chief executive at Millennium Stadium, and as a member of the executive board at Wembley Stadium and Arena before that, Paul has become very familiar with the three major codes of football played at Suncorp Stadium - rugby league, rugby union and soccer.

'His management and commercial expertise together with his understanding of venue hirer and event stakeholder issues will ensure Suncorp Stadium's reputation as a world-class venue will continue to evolve.'

Sergeant, who is currently in the UK, is due to receive the OBE he was awarded in the New Year Honours list on March 21 at Buckingham Palace. After that he will return to Australia to take up his new role. 'My wife is Australian, so it's a wonderful bonus that we're returning to her home city of Brisbane,' he said. 'Everything I have seen and read over the past four years indicates that Suncorp Stadium deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the major international stadia when it comes to world-class sports and entertainment venues. Couple this with the highly respected reputation of such a professional and progressive organisation as Ogden IFC, then, the future is incredibly bright.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 2, 2007
Words:398
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