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Brisbane Lions’ new Brighton Homes Arena launches to the public for AFLW Grand Final

Brisbane Lions’ new Brighton Homes Arena launches to the public for AFLW Grand Final
November 25, 2022

The Brisbane Lions Football Club will welcome fans for the first time to their brand new home - the Brighton Homes Arena - on 27th November after gaining hosting rights to the 2022 NAB AFLW Grand Final Season 7.

Located in South East Queensland’s growth corridor of Springfield Central, the Brighton Homes Arena has been designed to provide a benchmark for how equal opportunity facilities in an elite environment are delivered.

The new home also marks the first time the club’s administrative operations and football departments will be co-located under one roof, with the AFLW and AFL players and coaches sharing greater opportunities for positive culture, innovation and idea sharing at the Brisbane Lions.

Populous Architect Brayden Goodwin said the rapid rise of the AFLW competition meant there was more need to design a dedicated playing arena and elite training facility for the club.

Goodwin advises “rather than retrofitting an existing AFL ground, the Brighton Homes Arena is a new boutique community venue that has been master planned to create an engaging civic precinct and extend the Lions’ relationship with the broader community.

“This is Australia’s first equitably designed elite training headquarters that were purpose-built to host AFLW matches and also be utilised for the Brisbane Lions, AFL Queensland, representative matches and as a dedicated place for junior development.”

The three major buildings of the facility include an elite high performance training centre, the administration and community facilities and the grandstand which are arranged around the Michael Voss Oval.

The master planned community precinct has been designed and constructed by members of the project team who share a deep understanding of elite training and administration centres and how they operate day to day.

Between them, COHA Group, Hutchinson Builders and Populous have previously worked on elite and community facilities across Queensland, including the Brisbane Broncos Clive Berghofer Centre, NQ Cowboys Hutchinson Builders Centre of Excellence and various sporting and recreational projects to deliver another iconic Queensland club.

COHA Group Managing Director Paul Coory said several stakeholders from the Brisbane Lions, Ipswich City Council, Queensland Government, AFL and the project team members were brought together to turn what was a greenfield site into an integrated community precinct.

“Our focus during the design and construction phases of the project was to assist the club in managing the myriad of stakeholders and to create a project management environment which allowed the project to be delivered on time and on budget despite the challenges of supply chains experienced in the industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Coory said.

Hutchinson Builders Team Leader Michael White said the precinct secured around 200 local jobs throughout the build plan.

White shared “Hutchies was born and bred in Queensland. We’ve got a vested interest in being part of places that liven up our communities. The new home of the Brisbane Lions will be a game changer for locals and we’re proud to have been involved.”

Main considerations in the design included security, visibility, flexibility and public access flow through to the main field.

The administration areas for the Brisbane Lions houses all the main training and administration areas and is almost an entirely secure facility with controlled access allowed to some areas.

The ground floor includes a public entry reception space with cafe/bar and community spaces along with a dedicated retail merchandise area and Level One has continued spaces for the Lions’ administration, an event terrace with club dining/function players’ lounge and community offices.

Behind the scenes the players’ facilities include a gym and indoor field, wet recovery pools, medical and rehab facilities - with most of the footprint taking advantage of large double height spaces that are designed to take in the views to the oval.

The exterior of the Brighton Homes Arena elite training facility is designed as a celebrated entry statement and activated community plaza that welcomes guests and promotes fan engagement. While the design pays homage to the proud heritage of the club through the grandstand’s material selections and archetypal references taken from the heart of the club, the Fitzroy Football Club’s Brunswick Street Oval in Victoria.

Additionally, over 50% of the Brighton Homes Arena has been designed for community use, from meeting spaces and function rooms, a café, parkland and a community gym, pool and wellness centre with elite level equipment.

Construction of the Brisbane Lions Elite Training Facility and Brighton Homes Arena commenced in May 2021 and will be launched to the public for the first time at the 2022 AFLW Grand Final this Sunday.

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