Smaller arena with plan to grow con­sid­ered

Sta­dium de­sign re­think

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

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.



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