Ipswich City Council will commit $10 million to redevelopment of North Ipswich Reserve Stadium, subject to equal contributions from both the Queensland State Government and Federal Government, and other conditions.
The Growth and Infrastructure Committee heard that a stadium upgrade – with a 20,000-30,000-seat boutique rectangular facility – would bring enormous social and economic benefits to the city and South East Queensland.
Council has prepared a North Ipswich Reserve Stadium Feasibility and Project Definition report.
“North Ipswich Reserve is the premier sporting facility within the City of Ipswich. Council has been investigating the upgrade of North Ipswich Reserve since 2000. The stadium upgrade can bring great social and economic benefits to the City of Ipswich. It is proposed that the stadium upgrade will allow entry of Ipswich based soccer and rugby league teams into the national competitions,” the report said.
“The upgrade of the stadium is required to support bids for soccer and rugby league bid teams entry into the national competitions. Without the appropriate facilities, both the Greater Ipswich Hyundai A-League expansion bid and the Western Corridor NRL bid team will be unable to enter into the National League competitions.”
The report said the long-term redevelopment of the stadium would cost up to $220 million, but it could be done in five stages.
Sport, Recreation and Natural Resources Manager Bryce Hines said council is preparing a Strategic Business Case in accordance with Building Queensland’s Business Case Development Framework to aid in project development and future government funding support.
M Hines said council would only commit the $10 million to a revised stage one redevelopment if there was a positive outcome from the business case, commitment for matching funds from the State and Commonwealth, and if the A-League and NRL bids secured national league licenses.
Interim Administrator Greg Chemello said the North Ipswich project and the proposed Brisbane Lions’ facility at Springfield aligned with planning of major venues for a potential SEQ Olympic bid.
“It is the same location and scale … it is an indication we are on the right path,” he said.
The report said the venue could host NRL, ARU, A-League and AFLX games.
“The proposed stadium development will become a catalyst to invigorate the precinct including the Woollen Mill and the edge of the Bremer River. It will add a vibrancy to the CBD on event day, create a flexible platform to operate outside of major events and bring both economic and social benefits to the city.”