Beattie Government to light up the Cowboys in 2005

Austadiums   |  Tuesday 14th December 2004
The Beattie Government has given the North Queensland Cowboys a huge kick-off for next year by spending $1.2 million on better lights and other improvements at their home ground.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Sport, Mr Terry Mackenroth, said he approved the funding in the wake of a National Rugby League decision to grant the Cowboys a 2005 Round 1 Friday night showdown with premiers, the Canterbury Bulldogs.

He said he hoped better facilities at Dairy Farmers Stadium would bring more televised matches for the Cowboys.

"This funding is also part of the State Government's continued push to fostering the development of rugby league in North Queensland," Mr Mackenroth said.

"The $1.2 Million grant is in addition to $3 Million the Premier announced earlier this year for additional stadium work."

Mr Mackenroth said approximately $560,000 would be spent to replace all light tower electrical switchboards and to fully upgrade the field lighting.

"This will enable Channel 9 to televise the Cowboys v Bulldogs game at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Friday, March 18, 2005," he said.

"Light levels are currently inadequate for television coverage and if they are not upgraded, the State Government, through the Major Sports Facilities Authority, would be faced with costs of up to $60,000 a game in light hiring fees.

"We will replace switchboards with modern units that are of sufficient capacity to support the upgraded control gear for the new field lights.

"I expect work on the lights to start next Monday (December 13) and be completed in time for what will be a highly anticipated sell-out clash in Round 1 next year."

Mr Mackenroth said additional projects to be funded by the Beattie Government at Dairy Farmers included:

* an upgrade to the Eastern Terrace catering facilities with the construction of a new kitchen under the Eastern stand;
* the refurbishment of the Western Stand ground floor to fully enclose the food preparation area; and
* new facilities for the Western Stand television camera room. This will include the installation of purpose-built camera fixtures and benches for equipment.

He said the Premier had already announced $3 Million worth of different projects at the venue dependent on the Cowboys signing a long-term hiring agreement which included:

* a new video replay screen to be installed before next season;
* additional seating along the eastern terrace, 30 corporate boxes and upgraded catering services; and
* a new ground PA system.

"All of these works coincide with the emergence of the Cowboys as the hottest ticket in the NRL at the moment," Mr Mackenroth said.

"They are an excitement machine who engage their home crowds like no other team in the competition.

"It was high time they got the attention they deserved from the adminstrators and officials down south and we are expecting more big things from them next year including continued ground capacity home crowds.

"With these great improvements to Dairy Farmers, Cowboys fans have more reasons to cheer on their team in 2005."
Willows Sports Complex

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The Beattie Government has given the North Queensland Cowboys a huge kick-off for next year by spending $1.2 million on better lights and other improvements at their home ground.
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