16,000+ seats now installed at new stadium
MORE than 16,000 seats splashed in North Queensland Cowboys colours have been installed at the clubs new home ground, as the project nears completion.
Hundreds of tradies are working on site as the clock ticks down to completion ahead of Sir Elton John's farewell tour in February.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 25,000 seat North Queensland Stadium was now 85 per cent complete and would be in ready in time to host the rock legend.
In March, the North Queensland Cowboys are set to open their home ground in style in a blockbuster match against the Brisbane Broncos, a rivalry that has produced some of the finest moments in rugby league in recent years.
"The world class venue is really coming together, soon the northern access ramp will connect the concourse to the northern entry gates," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The structural steel is now in place for the score board located at the northern end of the stadium."
Johnathan Thurston, who famously called for a new stadium in Townsville following the Cowboys 2015 Grand Final win, fittingly set in place the first seat last month.
"Since Johnathan Thurston and I installed the first seat just last month when parliament came to the north, more than 16,000 seats have been installed," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"I'm looking forward to seeing it packed with people when it opens next year."
Images from the North Queensland Stadium show the seats decorated in Cowboys colours.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the stadium had been designed "so you don't miss a second".
"That's why we're installing 399 toilets and 200 meters of urinals, with these facilities 90 per cent complete," he said.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni the stadium construction site had around 750 tradies on deck.
"Locals will have noticed the 450 tonne crane moving out of the field itself," he said. "It's tantalising how close game day is and I'm sure the CBD businesses are looking forward to that."
Mr de Brenni the new hi-tech stadium turf was growing much faster than expected at local Fortini Turf.
The team would soon harvest the turf into 1m wide and 10m long rolls, each weighing about 750-850kg, he said.