Stadium plan headlines busy off-season for RLI
KEY stakeholders will meet with the region's politicians on October 2 to kickstart the North Ipswich Reserve stadium redevelopment.
Rugby League Ipswich chairman Gary Parker said it would be sometime before a decision was made but the creation of an NRL team in the western corridor could not be delayed forever.
He said the RLI and Ipswich Jets boards would meet councillors and local members of parliament to map out what a 20,000 seat rectangular multi-purpose stadium might look like at the location, begin the consultancy process and formulate a business plan to make the project a reality.
"Ipswich City Council has pledged $10 million but that needs to be matched at least by the state and federal governments, so it is working out how we put that in a business plan and sell it,” he said.
Parker said the region was not granted an A-League franchise because it did not have a large enough venue and a state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility would cater to all sports, including the increasing number of women's events.
He said the redevelopment would also rejuvenate the riverside parkland precinct and boost local business.
Meanwhile, there will be no slacking off in coming weeks as the RLI board devises a strategic plan to ensure the game's continuing prosperity and improve the junior development pathway.
Parker approved of the appointment of Keiron Lander and Mark Bishop to the Jets coaching team. He said it was hoped the Intrust Super Cup club would become affiliated with an NRL outfit and streamlining the development process was a priority because the RLI wanted to be ready when the time came.
He said RLI could have benefited from additional sponsors this season and would be searching for businesses wishing to support the game next year as it approaches the AGM in November.