Ballymore redevelopment set to kick-off
Bulldozers will move into the home of Queensland Rugby this week to begin demolition of the McLean Stand as the redevelopment of Ballymore gets underway.
An updated artist’s impression of the project shows a boutique stadium with two grandstands in place (including the existing eastern stand) – noticeably different to the initial renders that involved a complete rebuild of the facility and an overall capacity of 12,000.
Headquarters of Queensland Rugby Union since 1966, the historic grandstand opened in 1968 and was named the McLean Stand in 1980. The QRU ticked off their application with the Queensland Heritage Council with a degree of historic sensitivity.
The new grandstand will not only bear the same name as its predecessor, it’ll essentially be a modern replica of the old stand, with a seating capacity of 3010, compared to 3008 in the existing stand.
QRU has approval for a 24,000-seat stadium but decided to build a smaller venue for training and smaller games instead. With the new stand and existing eastern stand still in place, Ballymore is expected to continue to have a capacity of around 18,000.
An artist's impression of the proposed High Performance Centre revealed in December last year (below) show a second rectangular field positioned behind the existing eastern grandstand (opened in 1992), and three new office blocks positioned around the field.
It’s proposed the offices, fronting busy Butterfield St, would be four storeys high and have a total of 428 car parks. It is understood the offices would generate income to help offset the cost of maintaining the new centre.
The state and federal governments have each pledged $15 million for the new National Rugby Training Centre. Plans for the project were approved in July 2020.
Contractors Delta will perform a slow demolition of the grandstand over several weeks, with sections of the stand to be removed, leaving a skeleton and the roof, which will be collapsed last. About 95 per cent of the materials from the stand will be recycled or reused.
Work on the McLean Stand is expected to take around 18 months to complete and will begin a new chapter for the iconic ‘Home of Rugby’.
QRU CEO Dave Hanham believes there is no reason why Ballymore cannot become not just the training base for the Wallaroos but the Wallabies.
“I believe Ballymore’s best decades are ahead of it – as a training base of the British and Irish Lions in 2025, potentially some pool matches in the World Cup of 2027 and as a training and competition base for the Brisbane Olympics in 2032.”