The Courier-Mail

STA­DIUM WARS

Premier told: ‘Give Sun­corp a facelift or be smashed by the Blues’

- CHRIS GARRY

QUEENS­LAND football bosses are plead­ing with Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk to ur­gently up­grade the “out­dated” Sun­corp Sta­dium – or face los- ing ma­jor events to bigspend­ing New South Wales.

Queens­land Rugby League chair­man Peter Bet­ros and Bron­cos chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul White have warned Bris­bane risked los­ing the sta­dium war to Syd­ney, af­ter NSW an­nounced a mam­moth $1.5 bil­lion plan to build two new world­class venues and up­grade ANZ Sta­dium.

“We need to fight fire with fire,” Mr Bet­ros said.

“Sun­corp Sta­dium’s fa­cil­i­ties are out of date.”

The NSW plan means Bris­bane will miss out on host­ing NRL grand fi­nals, de­spite the Premier on Thurs­day pledg­ing to seize the spec­ta­cle for Queens­land, and will find it dif­fi­cult to ar­gue for ex­tra State of Ori­gin games.

QUEENS­LAND’S rugby league bosses have pleaded for ur­gent up­grades to the state’s premier sport­ing venue, Sun­corp Sta­dium.

QRL chair­man Peter Bet­ros and Bron­cos chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul White fear Bris­bane has been left be­hind by big-spend­ing NSW in the sta­dium war.

Queens­land’s key sport stake­hold­ers are frus­trated the venue has de­te­ri­o­rated from a world-class fa­cil­ity to a tech­no­log­i­cal relic.

The NSW Gov­ern­ment yesterday an­nounced a $1.5 bil­lion spend on sport sta­di­ums in Syd­ney that will sig­nif­i­cantly up­grade Par­ra­matta, ANZ and Al­lianz sta­di­ums.

“We need to fight fire with fire,” Mr Bet­ros said. “Sun­corp Sta­dium’s fa­cil­i­ties are out of date. It is a great sta­dium in­fra­struc­ture wise and it still pro­vides a great ex­pe­ri­ence but other sta­di­ums have gone past it in terms of their tech­nol­ogy and fan en­gage­ment.

“The NSW in­vest­ment in sta­di­ums is a great re­sult for the NRL and it would be great if the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment also in­vested. The sta­dium must have wi-fi and the replay screens are not up to the stan­dard of Syd­ney’s.”

The NSW Gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment means Bris­bane will miss out on host­ing NRL grand fi­nals and it will be hard to ar­gue for ex­tra State of Ori­gin games. There have been only mi­nor up­grades at the sta­dium since it was built in 2003.

The Courier-Mail spoke to sev­eral Queens­land sport­ing stake­hold­ers yesterday who said fans were in­creas­ingly com­plain­ing about its fa­cil­i­ties.

The Bron­cos are ne­go­ti­at­ing to bring NRL grand fi­nals, World Club Chal­lenge games and the NRL Nines to the venue but they won’t be able to com­pete with ag­gres­sive NSW and Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ments.

It is un­der­stood the Bron­cos have lob­bied the var­i­ous Queens­land gov­ern­ments for four years to have Sun­corp Sta­dium’s fa­cil­i­ties im­proved.

Mr White said the lack of up­grades was largely due to the con­stant chang­ing of state gov­ern­ments. He urged the La­bor Party to com­pete with Syd­ney’s sta­dium spend.

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