Townsville CBD sports hub plan

Austadiums   |  Wednesday 15th February 2012
A proposed new Townsville stadium

The masterplan for a new Townsville entertainment centre will be overhauled to incorporate a football stadium in a "super facility" city leaders hope will secure vital government funding.
 
The mega-venue, earmarked for Townsville's CBD, would co-locate home grounds for both the Cowboys and Crocodiles, while having the capacity to lure international entertainers and conventions.

The proposal would replace bids for a separate convention centre and football stadium in the inner-city submitted to the State Government last year to replace the ageing Dairy Farmers Stadium and Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

The heads of Townsville's major national sporting teams yesterday said they had joined forces to strengthen the case for the complex.

Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said the concept would provide huge benefits to both the clubs and the city.

"We can see some huge benefits in shared infrastructure and hopefully it will reduce the overall cost," Mr Jourdain said.

"It's better for the future of Townsville to work together.

"We would be trying to get this to work with the overall revitalisation of the CBD."

Crocodiles CEO Ian Smythe said the facility had the potential to be a city landmark, akin with The Strand and revitalised mall.

"It will be a signature project ... an iconic facility that people will be proud of," Mr Smythe said.

"It goes beyond sport. What we're trying to do is create Townsville as a genuine second capital and events city of North Queensland."

Playing fields, administration, recovery gyms and sport science facilities would be co-located for the clubs, while a transport hub tapping into new roads and railway linking the port have also been discussed.

While the council and the Federal Government have each pledged $47.67 million to a convention centre, the State Government has been reluctant to come on board, instead commissioning a business case to assess the viability of the centre.

Plans submitted to the State Government for a $185 million stadium to replace Dairy Farmers identified a 17.28ha parcel of land bounded by Saunders St, and currently owned by QR National.

That plan included a 30,000-seat stadium, with 100 open-air corporate boxes, 25 enclosed corporate suites, two 450-seat function rooms and 24 permanent food and beverage outlets.

Dean St was earmarked for the 5200-seat convention centre, with 12 meeting rooms, over 300 sqm of exhibition space and ballroom and banquet facilities to cater for 1800.

Willows Sports ComplexTownsville Entertainment and Convention Centre

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