The Spot Light - Central Queensland meets Expansion Demands

With the ARLC finalising the NRL television rights on Tuesday, it places great importance on the future of expansion bid hopefuls. For mine, we (Central Queensland) have always been treated as a dark horse for expansion, well get ready to strap yourself in the horse is ready to bolt! Four clear reasons why CQ now roars into the front few: low start up, financial powerhouse, heartland and grassroots explosion ready for an NRL franchise.

It was certainly revealing that “The proof of this deal is there is not a lot of value placed on that ninth game,” (ARLC Chairman Mr Grant) in regards to expansion, while AFL boasted an additional $150 million from expansion for their TV deal. But in reality, this is an advantage to Central Queensland as we have never relied on winning an NRL licence through “television benefits and advantages” that amongst some other rival bids has been a strong priority. South East Queensland bids have been pushing hard with claims of $100 million for an extra team there, but no longer have that to push forward with.

The 1 Billion dollar TV deal could not only be described as a great day for rugby league, but also Central Queensland’s chances. Firstly, due to financially strengthening the game and as a result, as ALRC Chairman MR Grant says “The cash that comes from the agreement will provide the funding base for sustainably growing our game from the grassroots to the elite levels.”
This has always been a firm belief of the CQ NRL Bid for our own region: growing the game through its own strong backing, sponsorship pulling powers and also the facilities and resources that will be supplied through an NRL Club here. A Central Queensland NRL club will have low-start up costs through strong state government funding: items such as the stadium, SPORTS ACADEMY and an acquired leagues club enable the CQ NRL Bid to be sustainable for the long term without having to fork out or find large sums of money, and prioritise towards growing the game thorough the heavily detailed Grassroots Plans.

Expansion is still open to negotiations (plus NRL expansion strategy to be revealed) and the bid has assured it will keep going hard until a licence is won (no time limit) doing everything possible to further strengthen the clear COMPELLING CASE that is CQ as we move into the box seat. The NRL Strategy Plan will be announced in September, which will be an important factor in the future of CQ Rugby League; CQ Bid’s Walson Carlos says “We think the finalisation and announcement of the TV rights deal will certainly expedite the ARLC’s formation of the Strategic Plan for the game and this will include some clear stipulations around NRL expansion. We await the release of the ARLC’s Strategic Plan with much anticipation and excitement.” CQ has a target date of 2015 - 2016.

One major advantage to the television deal post-presser for Central Queensland is when Mr Grant stated “That doesn’t necessarily negate expansion … but it forces us to put much more rigour around that in terms of financial analysis and long-term sustainability remembering that our first commitment is to existing clubs,” this only backs up the claims our bid’s CEO Denis Keeffe has been making for a few years: SUBSTANCE (not colours and logos), BUSINESS SENSE, FINANCIAL LONG TERM VIABILITY and PLANNING (decision made on what bids present). Nothing has changed for CQ!

15 Reasons for Central Queensland from 2015

1. Financial Analysis – one of the world’s largest accountancy firms (Price Waterhouse Coopers) independently stress tested the CQ NRL Bid over six months providing a “very achievable” stamp nailing the VIABILITY CRITERIA

2. HIGH END ECONOMIC MODEL = secure future. Private Owner, potential future community part-ownership, leagues club, large companies wanting to sponsor and 150+ corporate partners already

3. Business Plan - promises “no risk in the heartland” future for the NRL. One of the most comprehensive business plans the CEO has ever seen in a quarter of a century in sports management and business experience.

4. Sponsorship - NAILED. Inside word - CQ NRL BID have one of the most lucrative sponsorship in professional Australian sporting history lined up. Many are saying “tell them their dreaming” and “it won’t happen”, but wait and see!

5. GRASSROOTS GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT - the ARLC want to grow the grassroots to elite level through sustainable funding. CQ NRL Bid will do just that saving ARLC funding and using our own backing, plans and resources. CQ Bid will add a massive 25 DEVELOPMENT UNIT (11 FT, 11 trainees and 3 senior). How many other bids or even NRL clubs can provide self-funded development to this extent?
CQ needs more clubs to create supply to meet demand (there are more players than teams in many competitions!), therefore an opportunity to greatly increase junior numbers and an NRL club to provide heroes that all kids will aspire to and take up rugby league. A CQ NRL Club will provide the greatly needed high-end development, while exploding the regular development that is greatly needed across all sub-regions in the large catchment. Something that will have never been seen before!

The grassroots plan is one of the most comprehensive ever assembled with the bid catering for every aspect for rugby league in the region, already evident in these early years.

6. QR National Schools Program - With the bid visiting over 120 schools per year this will only become stronger and increase with an NRL club actually here.

7. Junior Development Squads - CQ NRL Bid this year will increase to two squads: U13s and last year’s undefeated U14s. The bid will have the full U13-17 Development Squad setup during 2015. The U14′s last year beat three of the top schools in Queensland, while in 2012 the bid now has fifty-six junior players from the region, scheduled for a mid-October Southern Tour to go up against Keebra Park and Marsden State High Schools. With home games in the region to hopefully follow.

8. Queensland - TV want more Queensland content: CQ will add a natural rivalry with NQ and the two SE QLD teams (natural passion against anything “south of Gympie that is paved in gold”) and double the QLD rival matches from 6 to 12. CQ “shores up” the whole of Queensland for rugby league. Walson Carlos said: “David Gyngell’s resolute commitment to featuring a Queensland game on Friday nights (was of strong interest at the press conference) and I think without a doubt this will drive the need for a fourth Queensland team in the NRL.”

NQ Cowboys servicing NT, Far North Queensland and Townsville (potentially PNG). CQ: from Mackay to Bundy/Burnett. Broncos: Moreton Bay, Sunny Coast, South-West and Brisbane. Titans: Gold Coast, Ipswich, North Coast/Tweed.

9. HEARTLAND APPEAL - Central Queensland is the heartland of rugby league. Walson Carlos (Bid Business/Community Development Manager) says “It was pleasing to hear both ARLC Chairman John Grant and Channel Nine CEO David Gyngell refer on numerous occasions to servicing and protecting the heartland areas of rugby league.” CQ also doesn’t affect any other club in the heartland with Townsville and Brisbane around 8 hours drive each way from Rockhampton and we have NO national sporting team.
10. FACILITIES - we already have the leagues club, stadium & Sports academy funding fully pledged and world standard swimming facility already built and fully ready by 2014,

11. FAN BASE - the bid is almost at 40,000 supporters with details stored in the database, but the Bid wants to grow that even further. A massive base of potential membership! Plus with over 40,000 actively involved in rugby league grassroots in CQ. This is rugby league heartland and the game is the working class game, beginning in the original mining regions of Northern England. It’s the PEOPLES GAME!

12. FINANCIAL STABILITITY & VIABILITY - Walson Carlos backs the bid’s claims with “The CQ NRL Bid has always considered ourselves to be the most compelling bid for an expansion team into the NRL. Long-term stability and financial viability is one of our clear strengths over rival bids and we are well advanced with our financial modelling in our business plan and the NRL and ARLC are well aware of this.” With the bid already receiving a strong stamp of approval on the Viability Grading and promising already massive corporate support (this alone will be a significant piece and is pledged long term commitment) plus adding potential to gain even more sponsors (i.e. Coal, Gas, Rum, Sugar industries, and national/state companies looking to market here) after a green light, the future looks bright if given a chance to shine. CQ will not need TV money to survive long into the future.

13. FINANCIAL SELF-SUPPORT - CQ NRL Bid has already suggested with previous sponsorship, an owner bank-rolling the bid stages, donations and corporate support that the bid already has the bankable money.

14. Colin Smith’s Report (ARLC TV Consultant) Global Media & Sports gave a report that backs CQ stating:
“The choice of location for an expansion team should be based on the success of the new team. The success of the new team will be determined by local support of fans and business. The survey shows fans’ support will be highest for a Central Queensland expansion team. The actual location of an expansion team in Queensland will have a minimal impact on overall TV audiences or Pay TV subscriptions.”

15. RESOURCE BOOM, POPULATION AND JOB GROWTH - Central Queensland is the clear leader from rugby league heartland. Mining, Gas, Ports and even Construction are only beginning to boom at a rapid rate! The companies based in CQ are many of the largest in the State, Country and even the world. An NRL club will provide an opportunity to utilise a national media platform for these companies. This in turn is creating over 30,000 new jobs in the next half a decade and many relocations. CQ is truly an ECONOMIC MACHINE!

EXPANSION, it will all depend on NRL’s soon to be released Strategic Plan, let’s hope it will be more exciting historic and opportunities times ahead! Central Queensland has the most to gain and the most to lose, it’s our time.

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RLW FANS POLL- SELECT ‘YES’ EXPANSION & CQ FOR Q14 & 15 (published August 29th)


Rugby Union gaining ground in CQ: Recently St Brendan’s (a prominent RL school in QLD!) won the U15s State RU Schoolboys Cup and Rockhampton Grammar won the U18s Schoolboys Cup. The local media even stating “Central QLD can now call itself the new home of School Boy Rugby (Union).”

NRL Player on the move to Moranbah in 2013: Toowoomba product, Jaiman Lowe who will retire at season’s end with the Storm is set to move to Moranbah with his family next year. He will join the Moranbah Miners RLFC, looking to enter the mining industry, while his wife is teaching.

One Community Awards Finalists: Good luck to the following representing CQ (or their families) :

Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra: Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos and Scott Prince (Gold Coast Titans)

Toyota National Volunteer of the Year: Garry Dunnett (Fitzroy / Gracemere RL, QLD), Sonya Olsen (Gin Gin RL, QLD)

20 Grass-roots Club of the Year: Rockhampton Brothers JRLC (Rockhampton, QLD)
AAMI Service to Refereeing Award: Richard Johnston (Wide Bay Referees Association, QLD)



Rockhampton Grand Final (2 weeks ago): Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks broke a 23 year hoodoo to beat Rockhampton Brothers
Mackay: Souths v North’s (winner to GF), Elimination Final: Moranbah v Proserpine.
Central Highlands Grand Final: Clermont Bears v Peak Down Pirates @ Clermont Sports Complex Saturday 7pm.
Central West Grand Final: Winton v Ilfracombe

Central Burnett grand Final: Monto v Gayndah @ Monto Sportsgrounds

Bundaberg: Brothers v Hervey Bay (winner to Grand Final), East’s v Isis (eliminated)

Northern Districts: Preliminary Final: Miriam Vale v Avondale (winner plays South Kolan in GF)

Western: Preliminary Final: Quilpie v Cunnamulla (winner plays Charleville in GF)

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