AFL ‘Lionesses’ to roar in plush den



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Brisbane Lions new stadium Image: Brisbane Lions

Construction has begun on the new, $70 million, 10,000-person boutique stadium – to be named Brighton Homes Arena – which will serve as the home venue for the Australian Football League (AFL) Women’s reigning 2021 premiers, the Brisbane Lions (Australian rules football club).

Weather permitting, the Brighton Homes Arena is expected to be completed by September 2022.

The Brighton Homes Arena will become the community heart of Springfield and its surrounding suburbs. The state-of-the-art sporting facilities will further enhance the fantastic living amenity of Springfield (Queensland, Australia).

The ‘AustralAsian Leisure Management’ stated that designed by local architects Populous and built by Hutchinson, the complex boasts an elite indoor training facility, gymnasium, pool, childcare center and an events lawn.

The AFL Women’s (AFLW) is Australia’s national semi-professional Australian rules football league for female players. The first season of the League in February and March 2017 had eight teams. The League expanded to 10 teams in the 2019 season and 14 teams in the 2020 season.

An administration center with meeting rooms and an auditorium is also planned with facilities able to be used by the Springfield community, adding a new revenue stream for the club.

The ‘AustralAsian Leisure Management’ further stated that the tab of the venue is being picked up by the Queensland Government ($18 million), Australian Government ($15 million), AFL and Brisbane Lions ($10 million) and the Ipswich City Council ($20 million) plus ground works.

Brisbane Lions Chief Executive Greg Swann welcomed the start of construction on the landmark project and advised, “This project will have a transformative impact upon our club’s ability to stage AFL Women’s matches in a manner expected by our Queensland supporters. It will also improve development pathways for junior footballers from across Southern Queensland and help our AFL and AFLW athletes to reach their full potential.”

Queensland Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe noted, “This will be the perfect place to display future AFLW premiership silverware after the Brisbane Lions’ first, stunning 18-point Grand Final win over the Adelaide Crows.”

The Queensland Government is putting in $18 million in the Arena, believing the investment in the complex will inspire the next generation of young girls to pursue their sporting goals.

The State Government and the AFL have teamed up on an $8 million, three-year Grand Final Infrastructure Legacy Fund to upgrade playing ovals and female-friendly change-rooms across Queensland.

Minister Hinchliffe added “When girls and women have the infrastructure and coaching support they need to be their best, the sky’s the limit. From community to elite football, Queensland is experiencing phenomenal growth in girls and young women playing AFL. Right now, 42 percent of the AFL players in Queensland are female, up by an impressive 331 percent in just seven years.”

The Minister further observed, “Queensland was last year’s home of the men’s AFL premiership season with the AFL bubble and the historic Gabba Grand Final, creating a football legacy. We hope the Grand Final legacy will deliver a new generation of elite female AFLW players to train and play here under lights at Springfield Central.”

Lions Chairman Andrew Wellington said the Brisbane Lions were grateful for the significant support for the Springfield facility adding, “We know the Queensland Government is supportive of all sport, but their passionate support for female sport aligns perfectly with the Brisbane Lions and our AFLW journey over the last five years. Thanks to the funding and support of the Queensland Government, Australian Government and the Ipswich City Council, our AFLW players will enjoy some of the best facilities in the country.”

Added Wellington, “In addition, Springfield will be the new home for our Hyundai Help for Kids Academy which will play a significant role in developing and promoting Queensland male and female talent of all ages.”

Ipswich (City in Ausralia) Mayor Teresa Harding said it was great to support a purpose-built facility for female athletes and enthused, “We are excited that work is about to begin at the Brisbane Lions community arena and will soon see the champion Lions women and men playing and training in our home patch. The Council has committed $20 million to this project which has enabled the ground to be fit-for-purpose and ready for construction. The location is perfect: Beside the Springfield Central train station and in the middle of our booming Eastern suburbs.

Mayor Harding added, “One of the pluses is that as well as the 10,000-seat boutique arena, this complex will feature car parking facilities, community education and meeting spaces, a café and a swimming pool. And there will be community football fields adjacent and give our residents a real connection with the Brisbane Lions.”

The stadium will also be utilized for Australian Football League Queensland (AFLQ) community programs, NEAFL and representative matches.

AFL Queensland runs a number of community programs to encourage and assist people from diverse backgrounds to become involved with Australian rules football.

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