Brisbane Bombers shareholder Nick Livermore has warned the ARL Commission a fourth Queensland NRL team based in Redcliffe is “fundamentally destined to fail”.
Prospective NRL franchises the Bombers, Ipswich and Central Queensland have outlaid almost $5 million collectively over the past eight years in their relentless pursuit to grow the sport and be part of the big league.
But The Sunday Mail’s revelations that Redcliffe is now the NRL’s No.1 target zone for another licence will rock Queensland’s Big Three bidding consortia.
Livermore, part of the Bombers’ bid since their inception in 2011, is adamant any club to challenge the mighty Broncos must be based in the heart of the Brisbane metropolitan region, home to 2.4 million people.
“A Redcliffe team is fundamentally destined to fail,” Livermore said.
“If the NRL hands a licence to Redcliffe, they are isolating more than three million people in the southeast Queensland market.
“If the NRL wants a national footprint, they need clubs with a metropolitan brand.
“Putting my Bombers interests aside, I’ve always maintained that the second Brisbane team – be it us, Ipswich or any other bid team – must have a metro presence.
“League fans who live in Logan or Ipswich will not support a Redcliffe team, so the NRL would essentially restrict its supporter base to the Moreton Bay region.
“You need a CBD-based team to tap into the commercial and corporate opportunities needed to bankroll an NRL team.”
The Bombers have chased NRL entry since 2011.
Redcliffe will argue they possess a financial trump-card in their rich Leagues Club. They also own adjacent commercial real estate occupied by supermarket giant Coles, whose rent bill provides crucial long-term cash flow for the Dolphins.
The NRL would prefer relocating a struggling Sydney team than granting more licences. ARLC chairman Peter Beattie said the League’s broadcasters had so far indicated little enthusiasm for 18 teams playing nine games a weekend.
“We (the ARL Commission) will say, ‘What do we want the footprint to look – is it another club in Brisbane or a club in Perth?’,’’ Beattie said.
“What do the broadcasters want? Then you decide how to achieve it.
“It may be there are financial incentives (to any Sydney clubs willing to move interstate).”