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Queensland Country Bank Stadium hosts first NRL fixture
The North Queensland Cowboys hosted its first fixture at the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville last night, playing the Brisbane Broncos in front of a crowd of 22,459.
While the Queensland derby saw the Broncos emerge victors, local businesses are hopeful that the new will reinvigorate the economy of Townsville’s CBD.
Tickets to the first Cowboys match sold out in record time while hotels around the city were fully booked on game night.
Built at a cost of $293 million, and backed by Federal and Queensland Government funds, the major infrastructure project has opened its gates after two and a half years in construction.
While expected to run at a loss, the venue is anticipated to create 1,000 jobs during major events as well as providing a wider economic boost.
Commenting on the new venue, Cowboys’ great Johnathan Thurston stated “every time I see it, it gives me goosebumps - it's a world-class stadium.”
Thurston was among many locals who lobbied for the new venue, using his victory speech at the 2015 NRL grand final to lobby for funding.
The former Cowboys star, who has been immortalised in a life-size bronze statue outside the venue, added “not only does it attract the Cowboys home games, but hopefully we can attract world-class events here to the stadium - that's what it was built for."
Sir Elton John was the first act to play at the venue, playing in front of more than 20,000 fans on Saturday 29th February.
The stadium was built with $193 million of Queensland Government funding and a $100 million contribution from the Federal Government.
It replaces the suburban Willows Sporting Complex which opened in the 1990s on the outskirts of the city.
The venue will host a 10-round super welterweight on 22nd April with Tim Tszyu to take on Jeff Horn, in boxing bout named the ‘Rumble on the Reef’.
Australasian Leisure Management contributor Blair Hughes will be writing a feature on the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in the next issue of the magazine.
Queensland Country Bank Stadium opening night images courtesy of Blair Hughes.
11th March 2020 - NRL’s Bulldogs lose $2 million sponsorship following player scandal
5th March 2020 - Elton John concert attracts record crowds at Sunshine Coast Stadium
6th February 2020 - New 2020 club participation campaign launched for NRL
10th January 2020 - New Townsville stadium selects Oracle as F&B technology provider
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
3rd March 2020 - NRL post second consecutive $30 million surplus
30th January 2020 - NRL expands Road to Regions program following bushfire crises
12th December 2019 - Naming Rights secured for new North Queensland Stadium
8th November 2019 - Townsville residents offered first look into new North Queensland Stadium
31st October 2019 - North Queensland Stadium to stage Easter 2020 community football event
5th September 2019 - Cowboys play final game at 1300SMILES Stadium
4th September 2019 - New training and recreational space for NRL Cowboys House
2nd September 2019 - First seat installed at new North Queensland Stadium
30th August 2019 - Local firm to grow turf for North Queensland Stadium
28th June 2019 - Ticketmaster sells North Queensland Stadium’s first ever tickets
3rd June 2019 - Sports match day pocket passport launched to global fan acclaim
5th October 2015 - Historic win gives impetus to plans for new Townsville stadium
19th January 2015 - Bipartisan political support for new Townsville Stadium
21st October 2014 - Strong crowd numbers revive calls for new Townsville stadium
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