LAST week this paper joined the call for the Brisbane Lions to come to Ipswich while the Gabba is being rebuilt for the 2032 Olympics. And we are delighted to note that our local MP, Shayne Neumann, has been pushing for this solution for months now. He mentioned it back in March in a speech to Parliament.
Neumann said, “I support using Brighton Homes Arena in Springfield as a temporary venue for AFL and cricket home games from 2026 while the Gabba is being redeveloped.
“I’m urging the state government to reconsider its decision to use the RNA Showgrounds’ Main Arena as an alternative venue for the Brisbane Lions and cricket during this period.
“Brighton Homes Arena is a purpose-built AFL stadium that is already home to our all-conquering Lions AFLW team, so it makes perfect sense to use this venue.
“This would require installing extra temporary seating capacity but I’m confident this could be done at much lower cost than upgrading the RNA.
“With many families facing cost-of-living pressures at the moment, using Brighton Homes Arena would be the smart way to go and would deliver better value-for-money.
“We have the transport infrastructure in place with Springfield Central Station right next to the stadium and easily able to get spectators to and from games.
“The Federal Labor Government is also working with the Queensland Government and Ipswich City Council on a business case for the Ipswich to Springfield rail line, which would allow more local AFL supporters to travel to home games in the future.
“Brighton Homes Arena is also handy to Orion Springfield Central Shopping Centre, and shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and accommodation, which is what fans and visitors want.
“So hosting the Lions and cricket home games, and other major events at the Springfield stadium would deliver a massive economic and jobs boost for these local businesses.
“Ipswich people are sports-mad and I firmly believe the local community would be right behind the idea and the economic benefits it would bring to our region.
“The Ipswich to Springfield rail line would also provide an Olympic transport legacy for our region.”
Signs are positive for the rail corridor with October’s Budget including $3.4 million to complete the detailed business case for it.