Stadium upgrade push reignited as game draws record crowd
AN OLYMPIC Games bid and impressive crowd figure has offered a glimmer of hope towards a big future at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
A record of 10,680 people packed in to the Bokarina venue on Saturday to watch the Cowboys take on the Titans in an NRL trial blockbuster.
Crowds flocked to the game to beat the previous record of 10,169, which was also achieved during an NRL pre-season match.
That, combined with a southeast Queensland bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games, has stadium operators optimistic for what lies ahead at the venue.
"Hopefully, off the back of the SEQ (Olympic) bid we might see some questions asked about should the stadium get an upgrade," Sunshine Coast Stadium venue manager Simon Ball said.
"That gives us hope that something could happen in the near future."
While he admitted nothing was in the works at the moment, Saturday's highly successful trial was yet another positive sign for future plans.
"It's a fantastic event and great to see that people are willing to travel from afar to come and see the game," he said.
"To have additional seats for games and events like this, and across all codes, would be great.
"We're working hard to get closer to getting this done."
Former Queensland and Australian representative Willie Carne has thrown his weight behind the prospect of future upgrades to the stadium.
He said adding a stand on the eastern side would be enough to not only boost crowds but enhance events.
"Spend some infrastructure money on sporting grounds because it's not just rugby league there, you've got soccer, girls sport, union, and major events that could hold bigger gigs," Carne said.
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This poll ended on 25 March 2019.
Yes, especially if it hosts more events.
No, leave it how it is.
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He said the region was only going to grow and that upgrades to the facility would be well used if not now, then in the near future.
"There's a downturn in the economy at the moment so what a better time to create some jobs," he said.
"Doesn't matter (that it may not be filled straight away), at the end of the day it's the future (you've got to think about), build it now."
Ex-Blues utility and veteran Melbourne Storm player, Scott Hill had his doubts as to whether stadium upgrades would be viable but still believed they'd be welcomed additions.
"Definitely (upgrades would be beneficial), it'd be great if there was a stand put on the far eastern side, it'd be fantastic," he said.