Ballymore redevelopment given the green light
The redevelopment of Brisbane’s iconic Ballymore Stadium has finally been given the go-ahead, with the ageing venue to be transformed into a high-performance hub.
It’s been more than a year since initial plans were revealed and the Morrison government pledged $15 million in funding towards the project, with the state government set to match its federal counterparts.
The wait on that commitment to be rubber stamped has dragged on for about 14 months.
However, Queensland MP Kate Jones said the redevelopment will proceed when asked by 4BC's Neil Breen on his breakfast show last week.
"Yep - as far as I'm concerned it's full steam ahead with the redevelopment of Ballymore which is – as you say – long overdue and will make such a big difference for rugby and the local community" said Jones, the State Minister for Development, Tourism and Innovation.
"I did try to ring the Sports Minister ahead of this – but with Ballymore there was a commitment, I think, from both the Federal and State government for a $30 million redevelopment, of which we both pay $15 million.
"The last time I was speaking to the QRU they were saying that they had appointed an architect that was working on those designs."
Ballymore hasn’t hosted much top-flight sport since the Queensland Reds made the move to Suncorp Stadium, and the redevelopment will essentially bring the venue’s life as a 18,000-capacity boutique stadium to an end.
The two grandstands will be demolished and replaced by a new high-performance building which will include seating for 3,000 spectators. It’s believed the venue will have a capacity for around 10-12,000 with a grass hill surrounding the main field.
The revitalised venue will feature as a training venue for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and could also figure in Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics bid with it seen as an ideal size for hockey and an inner-city training venue in the formative venue plan.
News Corp revealed that leading Brisbane firm Blight Rayner recently agreed to be architects on the project after standing out in a field of around 10.
Ballymore has been the home of Queensland Rugby Union since 1966 and attracted a record crowd of 26,000 in 1993 for a test between Australia and South Africa. The Reds last played a Super Rugby match at the venue in 2004.