CELEBRATION DAY: Brisbane Lions players enjoy a win over Essendon. The city of Ipswich has had a huge win too with the Lions confirming their training and administration base move to Ipswich.
CELEBRATION DAY: Brisbane Lions players enjoy a win over Essendon. The city of Ipswich has had a huge win too with the Lions confirming their training and administration base move to Ipswich. JULIAN SMITH

UPDATE: Lions confirm Springfield move

BRISBANE Lions CEO Greg Swann has confirmed the club is moving its training and administration base to Springfield.

Swann made the statement Ipswich has been wanting to hear for the past six years on the AFL website.

Acting Mayor Paul Tully said the confirmation of the move was "one of the biggest sporting announcements in Ipswich for many decades".

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"We've got a commitment, we will be going to Springfield," Swann told the AFL website.

"We've got a commitment from the council there, we've got some submissions in with the state government we hope are being reviewed in the next month.

"Hopefully we'll have an announcement before the end of the season about how it'll all work."

The Ipswich City Council owns the land where the administration base will be located and Mr Swann confirmed there was also funding from the AFL.

Extra funding from the State Government is required but the QT understands that is a fait accompli and that the Palaszczuk Government will be opening the purse strings.

The move will see the largest boutique stadium in Ipswich constructed which will seat 10,000 to 15,000 spectators.

In a huge boost to women's sport as the facility will also host the Lions' champion AFLW side.

The new facility will include a 10-15,000-seat boutique stadium, which will host matches for the Lions' AFLW team for matches.

Cr Tully said the move would "cement a great partnership between the city of Ipswich and the Brisbane Lions"

Cr Tully and city sports boss Cr David Morrison travelled to Melbourne to inspect AFL facilities of several clubs and talks have been ongoing between the Lions, AFL and Ipswich City Council.

"Every person in Ipswich should embrace the move of the Brisbane Lions to Springfield," Cr Tully told the QT.

"This has been the result of intense work by all parties for over six years.

"Now it is about to become a reality.

"Councillors have been to Melbourne to inspect AFL facilities there. This has been an ongoing project and I am absolutely thrilled that this is at the point of delivery.

"It is great to see that our persistence has paid off."

The stadium will be built adjacent to the Centenary Hwy close to the Springfield Central railway station.

When completed fans will be able to watch the Lions women's side play their home games there and no doubt interstate travellers will stay the night in nearby hotels in a boost to the economy.

Last month the QT reported that an Ipswich City Council general council meeting had formally authorised CEO Jim Lindsay to enter a formal heads of agreement with the Lions and AFL to make the move a reality.

The Lions' move has come full circle after it was initially announced in the leadup to the 2013 federal election by the then Gillard Government with a $15 million commitment to the Springfield relocation.

That was taken off the table by the Abbott government and the Lions investigated other possible home bases before returning to their initial option.

Mr Swann described the long and winding road that has been the club's chase for a new training and administration base as a "stone in our shoe" on the AFL's website.

"Sometimes these things take time," he said. "Ultimately it's about funding because we don't have spare cash flying around.

"We need assistance from councils and governments and at this stage it's looking really positive."

Cr Morrison reinforced Mr Swann's comments and said it was now imperative that the state and federal governments came on board with funding.

"Then we can have all levels of government working together to make it a reality," he said.

Cr Tully said the AFL Springfield headquarters would complement the $40 million sporting fields currently under construction in the suburb. 



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