Smaller arena with plan to grow considered
Stadium design rethink
A SCALED- back football stadium in Townsville’s CBD could be built if the city cannot attract more funds for the project from the Federal Government and the private sector.
The State Government is in the early stages of developing a business case for the project, which will likely study the op- tion of a smaller version capable of being extended to the preferred 25,000- seat stadium.
The State Government has allocated $ 100 million towards the project and is urging the Federal Government to match its commitment.
Private companies have also expressed interest in helping to fund an adjoining convention centre.
Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O’Callaghan, who yesterday met with representatives from the Department of State Development and consultants KPMG and Populous, said the business case would look at a number of options.
But she said she was urging the government to focus on the option of a 25,000- seat stadium and 6000- seat entertainment and convention centre.
“There were number of key messages during the meeting. We do need a business case to provide us with facts that help us leverage other funding sources, whether that be government or the private sector,” she said.
Ms O’Callaghan welcomed the inclusion of Populous, a London- based firm specialising in sports architecture.
“It’s been well- received as they have significant experience in building stadiums around the globe” she said.
“We had a presentation from them on the best practice of innovative use of space for hospitality and corporate areas and looked at how stadiums can also service conferences and entertainment needs.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill also agreed the project needed to focus on an integrat- ed stadium centre.
“We’ve said to the Federal Government that once we have a business case we will be taking it to them,” Cr Hill said.
A number of companies have already expressed interest in either investing in the project or managing the venue including AECOM, Jacobs and Spotless.
A spokeswoman for Spotless said the company was always looking for opportunities to enter public- private partnerships on projects.