Rugby Union

Ballymore masterplan approved with construction to commence

Austadiums | Wednesday 12th January 2022
The Ballymore Masterplan

The masterplan for Ballymore has been formally approved by the Queensland Government, with construction of the new McLean Stand to commence next month.

It’s the first Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games venue to begin construction, with Ballymore slated to host Hockey during the Games.

The home of Queensland Rugby will be transformed into a high-performance and wellbeing precinct, with the $30 million National Rugby Training Centre at the heart of the development.

The NRTC will be the national headquarters of women’s rugby and the national Wallaroos team, as well as a new elite training centre for the Queensland Reds.

The new McLean Stand, which is integrated into the NRTC, will have a 3010-person seating capacity and will provide modern corporate and function facilities.

Demolition of the old McLean Stand was completed in July last year, while construction of its replacement was originally meant to commence in October 2021. The old temporary aluminium grandstand at the northern end has also been removed.

With Rugby Sevens to be played at Suncorp Stadium during the Olympic Games, field hockey will be played at Ballymore, and potentially a training or event venue for sport climbing, with a centre of excellence to be built on the rear of the 25m-high Eastern Stand for the newest Olympic sport.

The iconic hill at the southern end will be retained and it’s understood the stadium will have a capacity of around 15,000.

The QRU has also secured Government approval to build three new buildings at Ballymore, with a total of 5000m2 reserved for sports administration, sports recreation, allied health and sports medicine.

QRU Chief Executive Officer David Hanham said the masterplan sets rugby in Queensland up for a sustainable future.

“We see Ballymore as the centre of Brisbane’s silicon valley of sport and well-being – a place where Olympians can train and compete in a world-class facility.

“The ability to generate an income from parts of Ballymore means we can offset the almost $1 million annual cost of maintaining the precinct – putting that money back into our core business – Grassroots Rugby and the Queensland Reds.

“There has already been significant interest from allied health providers to be part of Ballymore, which is only a short walk from the Herston Quarter health precinct.

“We are also in discussions for a 25m swim school pool and what we think will be the Olympic Centre of Excellence for Sport Climbing.

“Ballymore has been nominated as an Olympic venue and while there is still significant work to be done, the approval of the masterplan is a first step towards that goal.

“With the growth of women’s and men’s elite sport and community sport, Ballymore can provide a cost-effective and central venue option for Brisbane, as well as continuing to be the home of our Hospital Cup finals and community game,” said Hanham.

Artist’s impression of the new McLean Stand at Ballymore

The Ballymore masterplan has been approved under the State’s Ministerial Infrastructure Designation process.

Ballymore Masterplan

  • National Rugby Training Centre
  • Home of the Queensland Reds and Wallaroos
  • 700m2 gym and hydrotherapy centre
  • 3010-capacity integrated grandstand
  • 75-seat auditorium
  • 120-person capacity function room
  • 25m swim school
  • 10,000m2 Olympic Centre of Excellence for Sport Climbing
  • 20m high outdoor walls for speed and lead climbing
  • Boulder climbing area
  • Public parkland/viewing area
  • Three new sports administration, sports recreation, allied health and sports medicine buildings
  • 5000m2 approved
  • Revitalised parks and BBQ areas

Part of the development has been scaled back, with plans for a low-rise commercial buildings facing Butterfield Street dropped from the masterplan following opposition from Herston residents.

The QRU website says linking with the 80ha Newmarket Sports Precinct across Enoggera Creek, the redeveloped Ballymore has the potential to become part of a new Olympic precinct for the 2032 Games.

Ballymore StadiumBrisbane 2032 Venues

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The masterplan for Ballymore has been formally approved by the Queensland Government, with construction of the new McLean Stand to commence next month.
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