By Zjan Shirinian

Melbourne Rectangular Stadium will stage the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Cup on January 9 ©Getty ImagesA consortium of sport event specialists Twenty3 Sport + Entertainment and creative technology firm Spinifex Group will produce the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief ececutive Michael Brown announced the appointment after what has been described as a "competitive" tender process.

The consortium will also produce "other creative elements of the tournament".

It has previously worked on the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, as well as events closer to home, including the Austrian Open tennis tournament.

"Coordinating and delivering the various creative and activation elements of the tournament across five cities is no small task, however the Twenty3-Spinifex team have the experience and skill needed to bring the AFC Asian Cup to life off the pitch," said Brown.

It is the first time the Asian Cup has been staged outside of Asia.

Sixteen teams will take part in the 23-day tournament across five cities - Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

The consortium was involved in the much-lauded Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe consortium was involved in the much-lauded Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ©AFP/Getty Images

John Tripodi, head of the Twenty3-Spinifex consortium, said: "We're delighted to have been selected to work with the LOC on an event presentation strategy and delivering a football experience with a difference to local Australian fans and those fans visiting our shores from across Asia.

"It was very pleasing to learn that we share the LOC's vision to deliver key off-the-field components of the tournament, from the opening ceremony to spectator activations, with the football fan at the heart of all activities."

The Opening Ceremony is due to be staged at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium immediately before the opening game, which sees the Socceroos take on Kuwait on January 9.

Sydney's Stadium Australia is set to host the final on January 31.

Spinifex executive producer Nik Goldsworthy said: "We're thrilled to be part of a home grown consortium that will provide world-class sports entertainment to football fans attending the Asian Cup, and indeed to millions of people throughout Asia when they tune in to watch what will be an exciting and memorable Opening Ceremony."

Fox Sports will broadcast the AFC Asian Cup, the 16th to be held, throughout Australia.

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