THE BRISBANE Lions AFL women’s team had the chance a few months ago to launch their new Springfield stadium with a first up grand final victory.
While it would have been a fairy tale opening for the side and its new $80m centre of excellence the story is still one of great success.
The club was sent into over-drive just a week before the grand final when the girls won the right to host the grand final and the AFL backed them to launch their facility with the biggest game of the year.
Staff with the support of numerous local tradies fast tracked the stadium’s completion and when the gates were thrown open for the first time everything was in place.
Long queues at the gates as the maximum allowed crowd of just under 8000 streamed in were efficiently handed and they were soon seated enjoying the pre-match entertainment from Delta Goodrem.
The Lions’ experience at handling big crowds was on show and their staff swarmed the ground showcasing what will no doubt prove to be a popular venue to watch a game or a concert at.
The complex has been a long time coming and it is a great example of private business, local council and state and federal government’s working together.
Federal MP for Blair, Shayne Neumann, who fought hard to make the complex a reality, was at the ground for the opening match and reflected back to 2013 when he first announced a federal government grant of $15m to get the project going.
While that original money disappeared after an election loss by Labor all tiers of government later came together alongside Springfield City Group to fund the project which ranks as one of the best elite sporting team precincts ever built in Australia.
The Lions are now looking to the fertile grounds of Logan and Ipswich to boost their supporter and recruitment ranks.
Men’s games can be played on the oval, but with a current capacity of just 10,000 the only matches will be pre-season clashes if any.
The women on the other hand will play all their home matches at the ground.