As the time for Bid submissions to the NRL approaches, some people are still suggesting that a third NRL Club for the south-east corner of Queensland would be a viable alternative to a HEARTLAND club in Central Queensland. There is talk of three likely “bidders” from the south-east which could include the so called second Brisbane Team Bid, the Ipswich Bid and there is still a likelihood of a current Q Cup Cub, like East Tigers or even Redcliffe throwing their hat into the ring.

The CQ NRL Bid Chairman, Geoff Murphy recently published his opinion on the selfish nature of these potential Bids and his words fell on very receptive ears. I would like to comment on one of the prime criteria of the NRL – long term and sustainable viability.

According to the second Brisbane Team Bid their existence would provide a local derby of impressive proportions. I struggle with this as a reality. A few weeks ago the current local derby of Broncos V Titans at Skilled Park, attracted 20,226 fans in a 27,000 seat stadium. The Titans wonderful leader, Luke Bailey commented that he and his team were disappointed that about 7,000 odds fans did not front up to fill the stadium for this derby game. I appreciate his concerns and it’s worth noting that this particular weekend was a very busy time for football events in the south-east with some of these games being relatively poorly attended. Such is the crowded nature of the south-east sporting landscape.

The NRL Titans – Broncos game on Friday night attracted 20,226 at Skilled (capacity 27,000); the Super 15 Reds – Cheetahs game on Saturday night attracted 19,579 at Suncorp (capacity 54,000); the AFL Brisbane Lions – Fremantle game on Saturday night attracted 23,373 at the Gabba (capacity 42,000)

In all 63,178 people attended the three national games over that recent weekend in stadia with a combined capacity of 123,000. That means an average percentage of only 51%. Individually the figures are worse. The Titans to their credit achieved around 75% of their stadium capacity; the Reds around 36% and the Lions around 56%.

As well as these three national competition games, many second tier sporting events were staged over that weekend in the south-east including three Queensland Cup games.  

It makes me think some aspect of the current setup will have to go if anyone adds another National Team into this very crowded sporting landscape which is not being well attended now.

Another NRL in the south-east of the state?? Maybe but in about 25 years from now after the HEARTLAND Central Queensland has been catered for. We are screaming out for our own NRL team and we will PACK OUR PLACE OUT.

In the next article I will detail the recently announced Joint Venture between the CQ NRL Bid and QR National to engage the schools community and to offer Scholarships for disadvantaged youths. These activities further enhance the CQ NRL Bid and provide real benefit to Central Queensland.

Support your own NRL team in CQ – get on line at www.cqnrl.com.au and become Bid or Corporate member.

 From the desk of Denis Keeffe – CEO, CQ NRL Bid Team