The Brisbane Bombers NRL expansion team says the funding of a new boutique Redcliffe stadium could be a boon to their bid.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a $4 million commitment to the 10,000-seat stadium, currently the home of Queensland Cup team the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Speaking to Fairfax Media in June, Redcliffe Dolphins chairman Bob Jones said a boutique stadium would be helpful for the region’s NRL push, though home games for any NRL team in the region would likely be played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
Bombers bid chairman Craig Davison has previously stated his confidence that a second Brisbane team will be in the NRL in 2018.
Bombers bid CEO Nicholas Livermore said they would be keen to work with the Dolphins if the Bombers were ultimately awarded an NRL licence.
Livermore said they had spoken to the Dolphins in the past about a potential partnership with the club.
“We’ve identified way back we had a meeting with Redcliffe and looked at that opportunity, if we were awarded an NRL licence, participating in growth in second-tier rugby league” he said.
“Redcliffe have got that (second-tier development) perfect – we’d definitely be open to that opportunity.”
Davison said he believed that any successful expansion side would need to be city-based rather than regional. “Any successful bid needs to be a Brisbane bid, ie top end of town, and focused on the strong commercial ties to everything that matters when it comes to a successful team,” he said. Davison said he did support the stadium upgrade, though.
“The Q Cup is an important link to the NRL and new boutique stadia is important to lift the Q Cup profile,” he said.The Bombers bid is among a handful known to be vying for a possible entry into the NRL, with teams from Ipswich, Central Queensland and Perth all in the mix at various stages.
The NRL is in negotiations over the league’s next broadcast deal, which could affect the possibility of expansion.