Dolphins hardsell stadium for NRL spot



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Australia Redcliffe Dolphin Stadium Image: Dolphins NRL

The rugby league team Redcliffe Dolphins’ new northern grandstand at its facility (Dolphin Stadium) in South East Queensland (Australia) has been completed and according to Club Chairman Bob Jones this means that the Dolphins are “NRL-ready” i.e., the team can get a place in the National Rugby League (NRL).

The Redcliffe Dolphins are a rugby league team based in the City of Redcliffe in Queensland, Australia. The Redcliffe Dolphins were founded in 1947, accepted into the Brisbane Rugby League premiership in 1960, and since 1996 have played in the Queensland Cup.

The National Rugby League (NRL) is Australia’s top-level domestic men’s rugby league club competition. It contains clubs from the original Sydney club Rugby League competition, which had been running continuously since 1908.

Dolphin Stadium, known as Dolphin Oval, based on the corner of Ashmole and Klingner Roads in Kippa-Ring, north of Brisbane, is the home ground for the Redcliffe Dolphins rugby league football club, who play in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup.

As per ‘ausleisure.com.au’, the recent opening of the northern grandstand at the Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe, is, according to Jones, the “final piece of our infrastructure puzzle” in the club’s objective to be Brisbane’s second NRL team.

Backed by $6.5 million in funding from the Federal Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council, the expansion of Dolphin Stadium, which went on stream in 1979, sees its capacity raised to 11,500, 10,000 of which will be seated.

ausleisure.com.au’ further reported that with assets valued in excess of $100 million, including the 11-hectare Dolphin Stadium precinct, the club says its infrastructure can be compared to any other NRL club. The Dolphins precinct offers a Leagues Club (boasting 40,000 members), the Dolphins Leisure Centre that includes a gymnasium and pool and the Dolphins’ Central Shopping Centre which, along with the leisure center, has been running for over five years with key anchored tenants.

The Dolphins have already constructed office space designed specifically to cater to the operation of an NRL team.

Commenting on the club’s aims, ‘ausleisure.com.au’ quoted Jones as saying, “This stadium will be a wonderful acquisition for the local community and will be a beacon for our traditional rugby league grassroots base and opportunities to host other major events for the region. With this in place, the Dolphins NRL bid now has all the ingredients to provide a strong, community-based team that would represent as a true Brisbane club in the NRL.”

“We have welcomed (Australian Rugby League Commission) Chairman Peter V’landys’ comments that the NRL would be enhanced by a second Brisbane team in its fold, and we firmly believe no other bid can match the levels of community engagement, infrastructure base and financial stability that the Dolphins NRL bid has in place.”

Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery said the Council’s $2.5 million capital injection to the project was an investment in the local economy, events, and hopefully an NRL licence.

He added, “Now that the stadium upgrades are complete, we’ve set the Dolphins up right in front of the sticks to make this conversion into an NRL licence. The Dolphins run rings around every other contender in terms of their business prowess and financial position, and with more than 5,200 locals playing rugby league the growth potential here is huge.”

The Dolphins will reportedly seek to employ their home facility – Dolphin Stadium – for a couple of games per year and as a training ground, with the majority of its NRL fixtures to be played at the 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

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