Code clash draws near
IPSWICH City Council's plan to make North Ipswich Reserve the "Suncorp Stadium" of Ipswich has created a potential scheduling issue for next year's busy football calendar.
The council was a key player in the birth of the Western Pride Football Club, which will play in the 2013 Australian Premier League state competition.
Parks, Sport and Recreation Committee chairperson Councillor David Morrison is keen to see the Pride play home games at the city's premier sports venue.
But with the Ipswich Rugby League holding primary residency and the Ipswich Jets also a regular tenant, the potential for scheduling clashes has increased dramatically.
Cr Morrison said the groups would need to work together when finalising draws. However, he floated the possibility of moving some Jets or Pride games to an alternate venue.
"Scheduling is something that the IRL, the Jets and the Pride will have to sit down and discuss," Cr Morrison said.
"If the Pride was playing on the Saturday and the Jets on Sunday or vice versa, our officers have assured me they can turn the ground around in one day.
"If there is a reason that we have to put the Pride or the Jets out to Briggs Road because of a clash, then so be it.
"The focus for council is that North Ipswich Reserve is our Suncorp Stadium as it were and Briggs Road is our Ballymore."
Cr Morrison made no mention of moving any Ipswich Rugby League games away.
IRL chairman Jack Rhea supported that.
"We are the primary tenant at North Ipswich Reserve and it's the home of rugby league in Ipswich - end of story," Rhea said.
"We won't be moving any IRL games to Briggs Road.
"It just won't be happening.
"I'm glad the Western Pride are up and about and I welcome them at the ground.
"We are quite willing to work with other sports to play there as long as it doesn't intrude on what we do."
One positive for 2013 is the reopening of Norths Tigers home ground, Keith Sternberg Oval.
The flood-affected Tigers played all their home games at the Reserve this year.
However, next season should allow a return to just six feature IRL games at the Reserve during the home-and-away season.