Amidst plans to renovate the Gabba Stadium for the 2032 Olympics, utilising the existing Brighton Homes Arena in Springfield, instead of revamping the RNA showgrounds, could be the most practical option for the Brisbane Lions.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding offered this cost-effective alternative for the temporary relocation of the Brisbane Lions during the Gabba’s reconstruction phase.
In a passionate statement, Mayor Harding highlighted the benefits of utilising the $80-million Brighton Homes Arena, which is already the home ground for the Brisbane Lions AFLW team and was designed with expansion in mind.
Ms Harding pointed out that the cost of expanding the existing stadium would be approximately half of what it would take to renovate the RNA showgrounds, in response to Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner’s plea to transform the RNA showgrounds into a temporary home for local teams, including the Brisbane Lions and the Brisbane Heat, during the Gabba’s redevelopment.
“Brighton Homes Arena is the natural choice to host the Brisbane Lions’ AFL team during the Gabba reconstruction for the Games,” the mayor said.
“Ipswich is already home to the best AFL venue in Queensland right now.
“With Brighton Homes Arena, Springfield Central, Ipswich already the home ground of the Brisbane Lions’ AFLW team, upgrading the purpose-built AFL stadium to accommodate the men’s team would be around half the cost of retrofitting the heritage RNA site.
“Hosting the Brisbane Lions needs more than just a field, it takes warm up and recovery facilities, state-of-the-art broadcast technology and a high quality, even playing surface. These are already available at Brighton Homes Arena.”
Ms Harding also highlighted the importance of spreading the benefits of the 2032 Games beyond Brisbane and promoting investment in communities outside the city.
“Brisbane has 18 of the 37 venues on the 2032 Games masterplan, as well as the International Broadcast Centre, Media Press Centre and the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes Village. Ipswich has just one.
“This is a perfect opportunity to start spreading the 2032 Games’ benefits more broadly, and leaving a legacy that can be enjoyed by communities outside of Brisbane.”
In response to the ongoing discussions, have stated that they are in dialogue with the state government and other stakeholders regarding the Gabba redevelopment and the temporary displacement period. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has assured fans that updates will be provided when a decision is made.