Rugby AU eyeing off football alliance to redevelop Ballymore

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru

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    Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle is willing to join forces with football to drive a redevelopment of the ageing Ballymore Stadium.

    The push is on for a new boutique rectangular venue in Brisbane as part of Football Federation Australia’s bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

    It could tie in nicely with a much-needed facelift for Ballymore, the traditional home of Queensland rugby, which has fallen into disrepair.

    Old, decaying and a financial drain on the Queensland Rugby Union, the 18,000-seat Ballymore is no longer fit to host professional sport – and aside from Suncorp Stadium, there is no other rectangular venue in Brisbane that is.

    A packed Perry Park crowd at Brisbane Roar’s W-League semi-final on Sunday further underlined the city’s glaring need for a mid-range option.

    An upgraded Ballymore – where the Roar train – could host future W-League fixtures as well as an A-League expansion franchise, Super Rugby, NRC, Super W and other events.

    Some of the Roar’s lower-drawing men’s matches could also be moved there from Suncorp.

    Castle said she was open to the idea of an alliance with football, which would present a much stronger case for funding to the Queensland government than one sport going it alone.

    She said leaving Ballymore, one of the most prized assets in Australian rugby, in its present condition was “not an option”.

    “It’s incredibly important to rugby. It needs some love and attention,” Castle told AAP.

    “We’ll certainly be talking about that to the government.

    “There’s some really successful models that I’ve seen where codes come together and share a facility.

    “That means we end up with a much better outcome for everyone involved – the government feel more comfortable, both (sports) end up with a world-class facility.

    “Those are definitely the conversations we should be having.”

    Suncorp, at 52,500 seats, is probably oversized for most Women’s World Cup games aside from those involving the Matildas.

    But if it were included in the bid, nowhere else in Brisbane is suitable to house the NRL, State of Origin or Super Rugby during the June-July tournament.

    A smaller alternative would also be perfect for the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which Rugby Australia is pitching to host in 2021.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • February 12th 2018 @ 10:17am
      Jimbo81 said | February 12th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      The Howard Gov had approved the Ballymore Redevelopment but Kevin 07 scrapped it and spent the money on an AFL stadium on the Gold Coast. Class Warfare. Economic Vandalism.

      It would be worth re-visiting the Coalition’s commitment to Re-Developing Ballymore ahead of allowing Football to take over the Reds home ground – because a revamped Ballymore with improved public transport (bus and ferry) represents real value Vs the cost of hiring Suncorp. I’m sure this is something Castle is aware of and is capable of garnishing support from the Federal Government…………. or just let Football Australia take over Ballymore for a small short term gain.

      • February 12th 2018 @ 10:56am
        Bakkies said | February 12th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        The plans are probably sitting there.

      • Roar Pro

        February 12th 2018 @ 3:26pm
        Ballymore Brumby said | February 12th 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

        I’d like to see you get a ferry up Breakfast Creek to Ballymore…. *eye roll*

        • February 13th 2018 @ 10:24am
          jimbo81 said | February 13th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Are you serious?

          Herston is 3.6KM from Teneriffe CityCat stop. Buses run to and from continuously. Easy as.

          Also – there’s a strong history of rugby club buses to and from Ballymore. If they implemented a better carpark entry and exit, you could even drive to and from the game with relative easy (have three gates, one entry, with two car exits that do not involve the main street.

          Also – Ballymore has three ovals – not two – and the two act as carparks.

    • February 12th 2018 @ 11:02am
      Tony said | February 12th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      ” Old, decaying and a financial drain on the Queensland Rugby Union, the 18,000-seat Ballymore is no longer fit to host professional sport – and aside from Suncorp Stadium, there is no other rectangular venue in Brisbane that is.”

      Rubbish comment.-Reds will only draw 10 k this year so they should go back immediately.It`d be perfect.

      And also Rubbish from the Kiwi Castle!!! She`d know nothing about the Ballymore atmosphere . If she is so keen , let he donate some of her wasted CEO salary towards it if she wants it redeveloped.Queensland are the only state that owns their own ground (Ballymore) and the surrounds , two training fields , Huge carpark etc etc.If soccer or RA Qld Government ( I doubt the QLD GOV would ,the last premier didn’t want to put a cent into Ballymore ) want to renovate it, let them do it.QRU should put nothing into the project at all.

      P.S You can fit more than 18000 into that ground, i`ve been there when 26000 rocked up. Sheeah

      • February 12th 2018 @ 12:15pm
        Bakkies said | February 12th 2018 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

        I guess it depends on the condition of the Hill and the other small stand behind the posts which looks run down.

    • February 12th 2018 @ 12:02pm
      Waz said | February 12th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      Football preparing to sell itself out to save a competing code. Much as I love Rugby and Ballymore it will be immoral for Roar to help out that old stadium while overlooking Perry Park. Football first. Rugby second – not the other way around.

      • February 12th 2018 @ 12:18pm
        Bakkies said | February 12th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        What’s the point of doing up a ground for just Football? The approved Ballymore plans had facilities for both sports.

        It’s also the Roar’s training ground.

        • Roar Guru

          February 12th 2018 @ 3:21pm
          SportsFanGC said | February 12th 2018 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

          Bakkies – the Roar are moving to a purpose built Elite Training and Administration Facility that was constructed for them in Logan, south of Brisbane. They won’t be based at Ballymore very much longer.

          I agree with Waz – Perry Park for Football and RU can figure it out themselves how to upgrade Ballymore considering that they will always want first dibs on that stadium (particularly with the Reds being based there full time).

    • February 12th 2018 @ 12:53pm
      Malo said | February 12th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

      The days of 30k going to super games is long gone. I use to love comuting up from Sydney & watching rugby at Ballymore. Great atmosphere and viewing for the spectator. The great old state clashes

      • February 12th 2018 @ 12:55pm
        Fionn said | February 12th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

        We still get state clashes in Super Rugby…

        • February 12th 2018 @ 1:24pm
          lesterlike said | February 12th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          No they are franchise teams with players from all over the place.

          “The state clash is in name only, that is when the state name doesn’t get in the way of sponsors that have bought naming rights.

      • February 12th 2018 @ 1:58pm
        Tony said | February 12th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        True, no one wants two hopeless Rookie New Zealanders coaching our teams.

        • February 12th 2018 @ 2:35pm
          Muzzo said | February 12th 2018 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

          Well Razor, was virtually a “rookie”, when he took out last years title!!!

          • February 12th 2018 @ 5:20pm
            Tony said | February 12th 2018 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

            I said ” our teams ” Sheeeeesh .AAAAAAAARGH !!

        • February 12th 2018 @ 4:00pm
          ads2600 said | February 12th 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          @ Tony, noone wanted two “hopeless, but experienced” coaches in Stiles and Foley either lol. I have some onion dip for that kiwi chip on your shoulder mate?.

          • February 12th 2018 @ 5:25pm
            Tony said | February 12th 2018 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

            ads2600 What`s your point?? they are all hopeless coaches.We just don’t want dud Kiwi coaches.Next.

            P.S Keep pouring that Tui Lager on you corn beef bro.

    • February 12th 2018 @ 2:34pm
      Muzzo said | February 12th 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

      Nice read Spiro, & IMO, I do think Thorn will do fairly well in his new role. Mainly due to to him learning his rugby coaching skills from a very impressive, environment, as in the AB’s, & under the Sader culture. Even though his last couple of seasons he was with the Landers under Jamie Joseph & staff. To be more explicit, about the Sader culture, we only have to look at Razor Robertson, & how well he went, in virtually his second season in the top job.
      Anyway, time will tell.

    • Roar Pro

      February 12th 2018 @ 3:22pm
      Ballymore Brumby said | February 12th 2018 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

      Surprised that FFA isn’t more interested in rebuilding Perry Park instead tbh.

      Ballymore suffers from very poor surrounding infrastructure and diabolical public transport links, which aren’t easy or cheap to solve. Modest rain and the place turns what little car parking there is into a muddy bog.

      • Roar Guru

        February 12th 2018 @ 3:43pm
        Train Without A Station said | February 12th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

        Might be a matter of knowing they’ll get more as 2 organisations than only as 1.

        • February 12th 2018 @ 6:36pm
          Waz said | February 12th 2018 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

          There are two organisations at Perry Park – there’s the Strikers and then Football QLD use it as a playing base. Roar would make a third.

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