Brisbane to Roar at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium
Brisbane Roar intends to play all its A-League home games at Dolphin Stadium this coming season, signalling a move from Suncorp Stadium after 15 years.
In a letter to members this week, the club said it is looking to play its A-League fixtures at the Redcliffe stadium for the coming season, along with a number of W-League matches either as double-headers or stand-alone fixtures.
That’s despite the Roar’s contract with Stadiums Queensland to play their home games at Suncorp Stadium having at least another season to run.
The Roar played two regular-season games at Dolphin Stadium last season, attracting near-capacity crowds of 9250 and 9387, while a couple of W-League games attracted 2693 and 2139 fans to the venue. It has also hosted pre-season fixtures for the A-League club.
The boutique stadium created an electric atmosphere, with then-coach Robbie Fowler saying he preferred playing at the smaller venue.
While its size is better suited to the club, the Moreton Bay region venue is located some 40kms north of Suncorp Stadium – or a 40-50-minute drive – a significant change for fans used to attending the inner-city venue.
Dolphin Stadium recently completed stage three of its redevelopment, converting it into a 11,500-capacity stadium, including seating for 10,000 fans, but it lacks the corporate facilities and public transport links Suncorp Stadium boasts.
It also doesn’t have broadcast quality lighting as yet, and while there are plans to install four 50-metre towers, funding is required to make it a reality. That means A-League games would have to be played during the day in the heat, or temporary lighting would need to be brought in.
“The club makes these decisions after taking into account the current economic climate as well as ensuring the Club can best serve its players, coaches, staff, sponsors, and most importantly, our dedicated members and fans across Queensland, Australia and internationally.” The members letter said.
The announcement has been met with mixed reactions from fans on social media.
Some have welcomed the news, pleased with the better atmosphere and cheaper food and drinks on offer at Dolphin Stadium.
Others were not impressed saying it was not fair for members based on the southside of Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast.
At previous games transport has also been an issue, especially as there is no free shuttle bus running from Kippa-Ring train station or free buses to the game.
While the Roar have attracted in excess of 50,000 to A-League Grand Finals at Suncorp, in recent years, its average attendances have dipped below 10,000, with the operational costs becoming a financial burden for the club.
The club has also recently shifted its training base from the City of Logan to the Gold Coast, with the Roar now using a field adjacent to Metricon Stadium and utilising the facilities at the Gold Coast Sports & Leisure Centre. The club has had a number of bases over the years including Lions Stadium in Richlands, Ballymore and QSAC.
Moreton Bay Regional Council and Brisbane Roar announced in July that the club’s W-League side and Academy would move to a new state-of-the-art $18 million women’s football facility at the South Pine Sports Complex in Brendale.
Brisbane Roar memberships for the 2020/21 season go on sale today, with prices reduced for the upcoming season.
The new A-League season kicks-off December 27, with FFA expected to release the fixture in the coming weeks. It’ll become a 12-team competition with the introduction of new club, Macarthur FC.