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A letter from Queensland Rugby Union CEO David Hanham to all Rugby supporters in Queensland…
Dear Rugby Supporter,
The State Government this week released the report of the independent Stadiums Taskforce, which has spent the past six months reviewing Queensland’s stadium infrastructure.
The Queensland Rugby Union made submissions and held numerous discussions with the Taskforce, both about providing a better experience for fans at St.George Queensland Reds games held at Suncorp Stadium, and about the future of Ballymore.
Ballymore has been the spiritual home of Rugby in Queensland for more than half a century, and we’re determined that it remain so.
As has been publicised before, Ballymore has fallen into disrepair, with no significant revenue from the ground to offset maintenance and depreciation costs of more than $1.5 million a year.
That’s money that should be invested into developing the game around the State to support our clubs and schools grow and thrive.
We’re pleased that the Taskforce has agreed with the QRU’s view that the precinct should be redeveloped. We have now completed a detailed feasibility model with CBRE on the plan to deliver long term viability of the site and what will enable the best outcome for Rugby in Queensland.
Our vision is for a world class sports and community precinct delivering a National Rugby Training Centre (NRTC) – the new national headquarters for Women’s Rugby, a new home for the Queensland Reds and a game development hub for the country.
It will mean a redevelopment of the precinct, with the demolition of ageing stands and new world-class high performance facility integrated with a new grandstand with appropriate seating capacity for sporting events such as Premier Club Rugby finals, men’s and women’s professional football matches, National 7s Rugby championships, State club and school Rugby championships and Wallaroo Test matches.
We have had positive discussions with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Sports Minister Mick de Brenni about supporting the NRTC with a financial contribution – similar to recent Government support for rugby league, AFL, cricket and netball.
We’re also well advanced on discussions with the Federal Government and Opposition about financial support.
The Taskforce has recommended that we continue our discussions with the State about a commercial redevelopment of the rest of the precinct to provide an income stream to alleviate the costs and provide more resources for growing our game.
We’re holding discussions with our neighbours at Ballymore to ensure we build not just a world-class sports precinct, but an exciting new precinct which improves amenity to the local community.
We look forward to sharing our vision for a new Ballymore with you early in the New Year.
Redeveloping Ballymore is critical for our game. It’s critical to helping grow the game throughout the state by eliminating the crippling costs. It’s critical to providing the facilities to build a Super Rugby championship-winning team. And the NRTC will help ensure the continued strength of the women’s game, not just in Queensland but throughout the nation.
We’re asking all rugby supporters to talk to your local state and Federal MPs – and candidates in the next Federal Election – and urge them to back Ballymore.
Chief Executive Officer
Queensland Rugby Union
22 MARCH 2019