Townsville’s new North Queensland Stadium has reached a major milestone, with the installation of the first of 25,000 seats.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was joined by Johnathan Thurston to help install the first seat today, alongside Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni, as construction on the $290 million project reaches its peak.
The project remains on budget and on track with the main stadium build works now more than 75 per cent complete, and half of the trusses that will make up the iconic roof structure now installed.
Visiting the stadium while in Townsville for Regional Parliament, the Premier said installing the first seats is an exciting moment and brings the project one step closer to being ready to host the Sir Elton John concert and the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) Premiership Season next year.
“I can’t wait for the people of North Queensland and visitors to the region to be able to sit here in these seats and enjoy the sporting, cultural and community events that will be hosted in this world-class stadium,” the Premier said.
“We said we would build this stadium and that’s what we’re doing, it’s been incredible to watch it rise from the ground into what you see today.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the North Queensland Stadium was on track to be a world class venue.
“Just as the final match at 1300SMILES was a nail biter, there’s going to be plenty of edge-of-your-seat action at the new stadium,” he said.
“We’ve made sure that quality is a priority using a UV-tested, marine-grade vinyl, to ensure the new seats withstand the test of time under the tropical sun,” he said.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said he was pleased that the seating design would be fitted to pre-fabricated seating platforms manufactured in Townsville by local company Jackson Semler.
“This is a stadium built by North Queenslanders for North Queenslanders.
“Jackson Semler have previously worked on the state-of-the-art Townsville Disaster Coordination Centre so we know that fans at the upcoming Elton John concert will be in safe hands.”
Mr Stewart said the number of seats in the stadium will make it well suited to hosting blockbuster events like the Queensland derby.
“The new stadium will have 25,000 seats, which is 7,000 more than at the 1300SMILES Stadium. That means 7,000 more people will be able to get a seat to watch big matches like the Cowboys versus the Broncos,” Mr Stewart said.
Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel, accompanied by captain Michael Morgan and head coach Paul Green said that it was exciting to see the first seat installed.
"The step taken with the seat installation brought us closer to the reality of a stadium for the people of North Queensland today," he said.
"We closed out 1300SMILES Stadium on Thursday last week on a high note and can now turn our eyes to an exciting future in Townsville city."
The North Queensland Stadium project is a joint project of the Queensland Government, Australian Government and Townsville City Council and is supported by both the NRL and the North Queensland Cowboys.
- The stadium will have 25,000 seats – 7,000 more seats than the existing 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville.
- In concert mode the stadium can accommodate up to 40,000 patrons in the stands and on the field of play.
- About 75 per cent of the seating will be covered by the roof, with generous overhangs over the concourse and main entry.