AFL Cairns announce plans for Cazalys Stadium upgrade
AFL Cairns has announced plans for a $25 million upgrade adding corporate boxes and a new 2,200-seat grandstand at the city’s Cazalys Stadium.
The new grandstand, which would increase the ground’s total undercover seating capacity to about 5000, has long been part of the ground’s masterplan and its groundwork was completed when new change rooms were built eight years ago.
With the venue having hosted last year’s Elton John concert, when 25,000 people packed the venue on a warm September night, AFL Cairns President Gary Young says now is the time to expand - not just for AFL, but also for cricket, A-League football, NRL fixtures and large concerts.
Young told The Cairns Post this week “whenever we have a larger event, the grandstand seats sell out immediately.
“It’s not just build it and hope they come. The evidence is certainly there in our bookings to say more undercover grandstand seating is needed.”
AFL Cairns has lodged a submission to the Federal Government for money from its Regional Growth Fund to back the development.
The Commonwealth can provide up to half the cost while AFL Cairns is also looking to Cairns Regional Council and the Queensland Government to back the project.
Young added “Cazalys has become a precinct for the city - it’s been adopted as the city’s oval sporting complex.
“It’s not just about AFL. It’s what we can provide for the city and the region.”
Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is backing the plan, stating “it ties in perfectly with making Cairns the tropical sports centre of Australia.”
State MP for Cairns MP Michael Healy said the Queensland Government was interested to hear more about the scheme, adding “in the absence of having regular demand for a rectangular stadium, this is an outstanding solution.
“The people of the north need to have a good facility and this is a very positive step in the right direction.”