Supersaver: strong economic case for CBD stadium
BUILDING a new superstadium and convention centre in the CBD is expected to cost about $300 million, only slightly more than what is needed to repair Townsville's ageing sporting and convention facilities.
It comes as the CBD superstadium and convention centre push received strong backing from the Townsville community, with a survey finding the majority of locals want the proposal turned into a reality.
The survey, which was completed by an independent consultant, found 76.5 per cent of respondents wanted the superstadium and convention centre to be built in the CBD.
The Bulletin understands building the tailor-made facility in the CBD would cost about $300 million. However, the estimated cost of refurbishing the western stand at 1300 SMILES Stadium is about $100 million, while the replacement cost of a new convention centre was estimated at $143 million and rated a more cost-effective option than fixing up the current facility to an international standard.
North Queensland Cowboys chief executive Peter Jourdain said he was worried ongoing construction at the club's home ground could dramatically decrease the revenue from ticket sales.
"We have been told that the western stand could be out of action for up to two years if it were upgraded, which would be a financial disaster for us," Mr Jourdain said.
"And why would you spend all that money and still have three other stands without any shelter from the rain?
"Building a new combined stadium and convention centre in the CBD would be good for our club, the Crocodiles (basketball club) and the whole city."
Townsville Enterprise chief executive David Kippin said the feasibility study for the superstadium is currently being worked on and is expected to highlight the ongoing maintenance savings possible with a combined facility.
"If you were to try to repair or refurbish both (the football stadium and the entertainment and convention centre) it would really be a case of throwing good money after bad," he said.
"There are likely to be substantial savings in terms of on-going maintenance if we build a new shared facility."
Mr Kippin said a delegation would head to Canberra to lobby both sides of politics on the benefits of the proposal, despite the feasibility study not being complete.
He said the superstadium project would bring great advantages to the region's indigenous athletes.
"The bulk of the nation's indigenous disadvantage is in Northern Australia, where Townsville is the largest city, and it's the logical location for the stadium and indigenous sport centre," Mr Kippin said.
Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey was in Townsville yesterday meeting with Townsville Enterprise to discuss a range of issues including the superstadium.
Ms Stuckey said Townsville was still in line to host basketball games as part of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
"We have had meetings with cabinet members and Townsville Mayor (Jenny Hill) and councillors, so it is on our radar," she said.http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2013/07/31/386425_news.html