Seven sporting upgrades Ipswich desperately needs
1. North Ipswich Reserve stadium.
While Ipswich's traditional sporting headquarters has served us well, the Reserve is long overdue for some TLC.
Some serious dollars are required to fix the ageing problems and bring the multi-use stadium up to 2019 standards.
Detailed plans are in place for the Reserve overhaul but the project has stalled dramatically, like the CBD redevelopment.
The much-touted boutique stadium would dramatically bolster Ipswich's bid to secure an A-League football team and boost our prospects of getting an NRL licence. At the very least, we need a modern North Ipswich Reserve to ensure the city's heart and soul doesn't get ignored while Springfield prospers.
2. The Ipswich Hockey Complex carpark.
The road into Raceview's valuable hockey facility is currently marred with pot holes and bumps.
Ipswich Hockey's dedicated officials deserve assistance to get this surface repaired, especially given they have largely self-funded so many projects over the years.
Carpark repairs are on Ipswich Hockey's agenda but the hard-working committee can't do it alone with other priorities to keep a major sport functioning smoothly.
Ipswich regularly hosts major carnivals at the complex in addition to regular club competition. It clearly leaves a poor impression with residents and visitors to have the carpark so run down.
It would be a sad reflection on our proud sporting city if Ipswich City Council couldn't step up and help out.
Given people using the neighbouring Ipswich Cycle Park also enter the carpark at different times, it's a valuable access route Ipswich needs to maintain.
3. A proper multi-use electronic scoreboard at Limestone Park.
Some progress has been made near Mark Marsh Oval with former AFL-used sheds finally being relocated to Ipswich's prime sporting hub.
The Ipswich Eagles men and women are enjoying the new facilities this season after using the rundown, claustrophobic change rooms under the Limestone Park clubhouse for so long.
Cricketers and umpires/referees have also been thrilled to have more room to prepare, rest and sing the team songs before, during and after sporting events.
But the lack of a multi-use electronic scoreboard detracts from what could enhance a terrific sporting atmosphere at Limestone Park.
4. A tartan/synthetic athletics track for Ipswich.
Like the North Ipswich Reserve upgrade, this has stalled like a sprinter pulling a hamstring at the starting line.
Bill Paterson Oval may not be the perfect site due to issues being on an old dump. However, a tartan track must be built somewhere close to the city's heart to help our talented club and school athletes further their promising careers.
Some experienced and wise athletics officials have been lobbying for years to attract support for the much-needed track.
But it remains a sad indictment on a sports-mad city like Ipswich that athletes have to travel regularly to Brisbane to sharpen their technique and skills when they are already punching above their proverbial weight.
5. A Queensland Raceway upgrade to secure future Supercars events to Ipswich.
This has been a hot issue in recent weeks with the latest SuperSprint weekend conducted at Willowbank.
Many Supercars drivers were united in the need for Ipswich to retain a Supercars event and high quality testing facility. That includes championship leader Scott McLaughlin who threw his support behind QR during the recent rounds.
Yet now more than ever, improved racing and spectator facilities are essential to justify the national series being run in a certain city. The competition for host venues is as hot as the Supercars drivers battling it out.
6. A well-planned Ipswich greyhound track.
This has also been on the wishlist for years with little genuine progress.
A lot of people got excited when it was suggested a new greyhound track could be built inside the Ipswich Turf Club main arena. But that idea faded faster than a champion greyhound launches from the boxes.
Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club officials have lobbied hard for a specialised track to service our community. They seem to have been forgotten about, especially by Racing Queensland.
7. Norman Street bridge to ease pressure on David Trumpy Bridge.
Of all the upgrades needed, this is most likely to be the last despite years of promoting its value and never-ending strategic business case studies.
Plans have been drawn up to provide a vital second arterial access to the city via East Ipswich. But instead, the David Trumpy Bridge remains clogged up nearly every day, reducing access to sporting venues like the North Ipswich Reserve and Tivoli Sporting Complex. So close to busy Riverlink, the David Trumpy Bridge is choked to capacity, nearly always when you are in a hurry.
Maybe we could rename the Norman Street Bridge the "Genie in a Bottle Bridge'' as that's the current prospect of it being constructed this century.