Lions den Brighton Homes Arena shine ‘bright’


Australia Brighton Homes Arena opens Image: Brisbane Lions

The $82.1 million Brighton Homes Arena that includes a high-performance training center officially opened to the public at Springfield in Queensland, Australia, on November 27th, as the Brisbane Lions went down in the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) Grand Final against the Melbourne Football Club.

‘Queensland Government’ stated that a packed crowd had the unique chance to be part of history with the opening of Australia’s first ever purpose-built stadium designed for a professional female sports team, with elite training facilities for both professional men’s and women’s teams.

The Brighton Homes Arena (Springfield Central Stadium) is the new headquarters of the Brisbane Lions, located at Springfield in the City of Ipswich, West of Brisbane, Australia. Completed in November 2022, the 8,000-capacity boutique stadium featuring the Michael Voss Oval is the new home ground of the Brisbane Lions AFLW team.

Melbourne (Australia)-based the Australian Football League (AFL) Women’s – which goes as 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, 14 teams in 2020 and 18 teams in 2022. The league is run by the Australian Football League (AFL) and is contested by each of the clubs from that competition. The reigning premiers are the Melbourne Football Club.

Melbourne (Australia)-based the Australian Football League (AFL) is the only fully professional competition of Australian Rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport’s governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game.

The Lions lost in a nail-biting battle with hometown hero, Shannon Campbell, named best on ground.

The Brisbane Lions staff and the AFLW team have already moved into the facility.

‘Queensland Government’ further stated that there is a 50-meter indoor training field and kick room, gymnasium, infrared saunas, float tanks, lap pool, aquatic recovery pools, same-sized standalone male and female changing rooms, an events lawn, administration center, and an auditorium.

The stadium is the first completed Olympic venue since the Brisbane 2032 announcement, with the Arena earmarked as a potential host for modern pentathlon during the Games.

The 2032 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXV Olympiad and also known as Brisbane 2032, will be an international multisport event scheduled to take place from July 23rd to August 8th, 2032 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The venue will improve development pathways for junior footballers from across Southern Queensland including the Lions Academy boys and girls while helping the Brisbane Lions AFL and AFLW athletes to reach their full potential.

There are currently more than 111,000 women and girls who participate in AFL in Queensland – 42 percent of all players, which is the largest proportion in Australia.

The Brighton Homes Arena was designed by local architects Populous and built by Hutchinson Builders, supporting more than 260 jobs during the construction phase, plus ongoing jobs for catering, maintenance and administrative staff.

The stadium can be used for AFL Queensland Finals, representative matches and school programs across two ovals – with the main stadium overlooking Michael Voss Oval, named after the Lions’ triple Premiership winning captain.

The stadium can potentially be used for Lions men’s games during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and while the 42,000-capacity The Gabba in Woolloongabba is being redeveloped for Brisbane 2032, as the capacity can be expanded to 25,000 with temporary seating added.

The community-use facilities will provide an extra revenue stream for the Lions, while the Arena will be a drawcard for more carnivals, matches and events, providing an economic boost for the region.

The Brighton Homes Arena was funded by the Queensland Government ($18 million), the Federal Government, AFL and Brisbane Lions, the Ipswich City Council (including developer contribution and in-kind fit-for-purpose bulk earthworks), and commercial partners Gym JV.

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