Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…read more
Queensland Country Bank Stadium generates $70 million in economic benefits for Townsville
A North Queensland-based economist has reported that Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium has generated $70 million in economic benefits for the region since its opening in February 2020, hosting 30 major events in that time.
Opened just before Coronavirus lockdowns impacted the events industry as of March last year, the venue has thrived in the post lockdown environment, stepping in to stage major events such as this year’s first NRL State of Origin match.
Tonight it will host a Rugby Championship double header - featuring Australia vs Argentina and New Zealand vs South Africa - attracting the largest regional crowd the Wallabies have ever seen.
With major events across the country falling victim to the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Townsville venue has emerged as a saviour of Australia's events calendar.
As reported by the ABC and the Townsville Bulletin, regional economist Colin Dwyer said five recent drawcard matches - including the State of Origin and the Oceania Rugby Sevens - had meant big business for Townsville.
Dwyer advised “we're looking at around $37.9 million being generated locally out of those matches … and there'll be over 10,000 jobs hours that have been created
"That stadium is about putting bums on seats, heads into beds, buyers into local businesses, and promoting Townsville as a national and international event destination.
"And it's doing a darn good job of it at the moment."
Commenting on the success of the $290 million venue, Stadium Manager, Tom Kimball told the ABC “while the rest of the world shuts down, Queensland - and in particular north Queensland - continues to thrive.”
Business and community leaders are confident Townsville has "proved its worth" as a premier events destination that will pay off long after the nation reopens.
Kimball noted “just over 417,000 patrons have come to the venue since the venue opened, which is unreal.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill advised "I can't express how lucky we are to have the stadium, to have these events rolling through, just to at least keep our tourism economy, our event economy going.
Dwyer said the Stadium had boosted the city as an international events destination, with the venue able to pick up a raft of major games due to scheduling changes forced by Covid-19.
He looked back to the 2016 Federal Election as having been vital in getting the venue built, recalling “a host of Townsville organisations advocated for the new stadium, including governments, TEL, Chamber of Commerce, Townsville Bulletin and some election candidates.
“The power of preferences in that election played a small but influential part in achieving our stadium and the jobs that came with it.
“The community wasn’t always behind it and an economic impact study suggested it was a marginal project. Poor job conditions, low confidence and a depressed economy forced a change at the 2016 election for the better.”
Noting its benefits, Dwyer told the Townsville Bulletin “in an otherwise sluggish tourist accommodation season, the Stadium events have filled hotels, motels, Air BnBs and encouraged plans for new accommodation facilities.
“The additional expenditure, (putting buyers in local businesses) is estimated to have generated over $37 million so far this calendar year.”
Dwyer said if the crowd could get as close to a sellout as possible this weekend, Test rugby could return to Townsville in the future, adding “having the opportunity to capitalise on Covid disruptions in other locations means this weekend’s double-header Rugby Championship event will be seen by 45 million viewers worldwide.
“Rugby is huge around the world and having the best teams in Townsville is a great opportunity to encourage future Super Rugby and internationals.
“The Stadium has been in the right place at the right time in 2021 to capitalise on Covid conditions. Next year and future years will be different. We need to adapt.
“If a regional stadium is to attract elite football, rugby, NRL and top bands, it needs an events attraction fund to compete with major cities on a level economic playing field.”
Kimball also remains determined that the venue will continue to be an attractive venue into the future, adding “we've absolutely got the momentum going - I'm not concerned in the slightest.”
Images: Sporting action at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
24th August 2021 - SANZAAR to host Rugby Championships series in Queensland
28th July 2021 - Stadiums Queensland announces three new board members
28th January 2021 - Hundreds of jobs promoted at Queensland Country Bank Stadium
7th December 2020 - COVID impacts fan numbers at Stadiums Queensland venues
14th March 2020 - Queensland Country Bank Stadium hosts first NRL fixture
21st February 2020 - North Queenslanders to take first look at new Queensland Country Bank Stadium
14th February 2020 - Queensland Country Bank Stadium to host its first Qantas Wallabies Test
21st January 2020 - Symbolic transfer of turf to Queensland Country Bank Stadium
8th November 2019 - Townsville residents offered first look into new North Queensland Stadium
4th September 2019 - New funding secured for major Townsville tourism project
15th February 2019 - North Queensland Stadium site stands up to Townsville floods
19th December 2018 - Taskforce sets out future for Stadiums Queensland venues
15th April 2018 - Townsville to celebrate value of a decade of Supercars racing
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