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Food for thought: RE Brookvale Development

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    CEO scouting old haunts for Ballymore plan
    March 17, 2010 - 3:25PM


    QRU chief executive Jim Carmichael has been scouring his old stomping ground in Melbourne for inspiration as Brisbane City Council edges closer a decision on the development application for iconic inner-city rugby ground Ballymore.

    The future of Ballymore is central to the prosperity of the embattled Queensland Rugby Union, which has sought financial assistance from the ARU as radical reform takes place to confront the immense challenges the code and franchise now face.

    Carmichael, who was recruited from the AFL, has taken a scrupulous approach to researching potential uses for Ballymore, including some ideas from Melbourne, where a number of football clubs have breathed fresh vigour into crumbling community grounds and training bases.

    But he says he won't be rushed on a decision for the final blueprint of Ballymore, which is looming as one of the most important calls in the history of the QRU and one which the organisation needs to get right if it's to stop the financial drain hampering the code.

    "We've got an asset there that we've got an opportunity to think deeply about and make sure it turns into a long-term asset for rugby," Carmichael said.

    "We're in a very good space at the moment. We're not making kneejerk reactions and decisions. We've given ourselves the chance to make good decisions for rugby and the Ballymore decision is one we're going to take our time on in terms of exactly what it looks like.

    "We've got the responsibility of getting that asset to be a very important part of rugby over the next 50 years."

    The application before council includes provisions for a specialist sports medicine/rehabilitation centre, gymnasium, pool complex, an additional sporting oval and, according to the QRU website, "other improvements designed to make the complex initially self-supporting and eventually revenue-generating".

    But the final design may not be entirely reflective of the current plans, with Carmichael and his team casting the net far and wide for information on how to make the Ballymore site functional and profitable. Central to that plan may be some AFL models, including redevelopments at Richmond, Carlton, North Melbourne and Footscray.

    "I've been to them all. I've worked on those programs and we've been down and looked at nearly every AFL development, from elite sporting assets to community building," Carmichael said.

    "Each of those models are unique. They all tackle the community space a bit differently. Some are indigenous education, some are multi-cultural, then you have the Doggies (Western Bulldogs) who have creches and kindergartens.

    "North Melbourne has education for under-privileged, Carlton is very much about the elite and the fans being able to come in and see the elite facility and see their players.

    "I've been doing this for months. My team has looked at all the modeling overseas, what's going on there. We need to have governments see how rugby can grow and how we it can prosper."

    Another model suggested to the QRU is that of Redfern Oval, home of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, which has been recast as a community asset and elite training and administration base for the resident NRL side.

    A recent Super 14 clash at Ballymore between the Reds and Auckland sparked fresh cries for a permanent return once the deal at Suncorp Stadium expires at the end of the year. Carmichael said he had not ruled out more games at Ballymore and is keeping an open mind for a fabled venue worth a reputed $18 million but contributes almost nothing to the QRU bottom line.

    "We don't have a closed mind one way or another. It's about taking all the experience we've been gathering and all the intelligence we've been working through to determine what option will deliver the best result for us," Carmichael said.

    "I don't have a pre-conceived notion whether we should or we shouldn't play there. What I do know is it would be ridiculous as an administrator not to look at it.

    "(But) if it's not a stadium mindset that we have, how do we turn that into an asset for the Reds to make them more elite. And then what does it mean in terms of taxpayers - how do we turn the rest of Ballymore into a community asset that not only works for rugby but works for a much wider audience."

    The QRU is likely to bring in external consultants to help them renegotiate their deal with Suncorp Stadium, including the ARU, with Carmichael keen to find a way to better engage fans in a 52,000-seat venue that is almost always less than half full for Reds home games.

    Carmichael is also confident long-overdue moves to delve into the underlying issues causing the decay of the QRU are paying off. He believes the wider Queensland rugby community, as well as the ARU, are supportive of what he describes as "major reform".

    "It wasn't just the financial side of it - it's a far bigger issues that that," Carmichael said. "I think rugby in Queensland has not had a common ambition between everybody. Everybody has been left, to a certain extent, too much on their own.

    "It's about bringing all of that together. This was a position I've been working on that for some time because I'm a great believer that in any sporting code, if you don't have a strong governing body then the code has some deep troubles.

    "I've been out to see the clubs - I've been seeing them since I got here in December with the same message. The message about the state of rugby has come out in the last two weeks in the media isn't new to these guys, I've just been the one who's peeled back the carpet and shown them what it all means and how our code is going against the competition.

    "I've had strong support and endorsement from all the people I've met. The ARU is very comforted that there's an administration that knows what they're doing."
     
  2. Duff

    Duff Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Isn't the trouble with this that going down the AFL path means not using your home ground for games?
     
  3. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I think we need to reconcile that we're not going to get the $ for a Grandstand. 

    Thus is it time to think outside the box?  Instead of slapping a Grandstand on the Hill, flatten the Hill and put the Grandstand over a community facility that will attract the Federal dollars we require. 
     
  4. Mark from Brisbane

    Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

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    That Matabele is "thinking outside the square"...you should be banned from this site for that!!

    Seriously, has anyone thought of that before....certainly not me, but it's a bloody good idea...anything to see our spiritual home remain.
     
  5. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    There is plenty of room to have both. You could put a knights style grandstand behind the hill, without the shooting gallery for 20 - 30 million.

    Problem is with the sun you really want the big stand on the west side.

    I am still a big fan of the propsal from a few years back
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    A Grandstand over the hill would take the back edge close to the fence line.  In this under section you could have all manner of facilities -  government offices or shop fronts, a community use facility etc.  Zoning and getting Council onside (it is their facility) would be the issues to overcome.
     
  7. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    The land footprint behind the hill is enormous. Obviously it would be even larger if you flattened the hill, in fact it would allow an enormous building. A massive building would divide the Council like no other issue and would probably be unworkable, but I guess anything is possible.

    Most building proposals to incorporate community facilities have been at the southern end of the ground along Pittwater Road, and behind the existing Fulton-Menzies Stand. This allows any business high street visibility.

    I'm with Fluffy and liked the smaller stand proposal put forward. I also don't know what Penn's thoughts would be about the proposed move of the Leagues Club to a new building at Brookie as he would be left owning the old building and without a tennant. The Leagues Club is tied into a 5 year agreement from memory.

    The Sea Eagles training relocating from Narrabeen wouldn't be a problem as far as I could see if it incorporated the type of facilities mentioned in the Ballymore proposal above.
     
  8. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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      It would take 5 years to get this over the line.  I'd imagine there would be no shortage of alternate uses for the LEagues Club, though I can't see the League's Club being allowed to be built on Council land anyway.  More likely the bottom of the grandstand would have to be a community/government facility. 
     
  9. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    You are probably right about timescales. Throwing in community facilities like meeting rooms, library, child-minding (although the Council is moving away from providing this), etc would be the only way it would get over the line and as we have agreed is the right compromise.

    The Leagues Club doesn't have the money to build anything. It would be as long-term planned tenant. Something along the lines of what the Sharks have done would be fantastic and would make those boardroom sangas extra tasty. :)
     
  10. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I've never been to Shark Park but I remember reading once it was out of the way, with only one route out that made it a sitting duck for the breathalyser crews.  Perhaps development has changed that scenario but it sounds like it would have little of the passing traffic that Brookvale enjoys. 
     
  11. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    My idea is to utilse the vacant land behind the hill for a car parking station & build a stand on top.  During the week it could be used for a park & ride (buses non stop to the city) to reduce peak hour traffic (Great for the environment).  It could also be used to reduce traffic/parking issues in the Brookvale commercial area and of course on game days it can be used for parking for fans attending matches - this will help our friends in the Brookvale Valley by reducing the parking demand on local streets.

    The council could also get revenue for fees for parking there.  Benefits for all - the environment via less cars on the streets, council gets another revenue stream, locals gets less cars parking in their driveways, Sea Eagles get a new stand!
     
  12. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Pure genius!
     
  13. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    I am not just a pretty face, I wonder if Vidmar could raise this at the next board discussion?
     
  14. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    without taking credit for it.  ;)
     
  15. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Good ideas, we just need some entrepreneurial nous & some investment $ to get some kind of public/private partnership to make something happen. It is blatantly clear that doing nothing is not an option, for either council or the Sea Eagles.
     
  16. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    without taking credit for it.  ;)
    [/quote]

    If it gets built and its called the Bob Stephenson car park I will be pissed off....
     
  17. joshw

    joshw New Member

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    Now's your chance to submit your idea for yourself Wheel.

    Warringah Council has started a community consultation process about the future of Brookie and is actively seeking new ideas.

    For more info, go to http://yoursaywarringah.com.au/brookvalepark.

    The forum is located at http://yoursaywarringah.com.au/brookvaleimagine

    No doubt the residents will be on there arguing for the ground to be demolished and turned into a vege patch, so Manly fans need to get in there and counter their crap.
     
  18. vidmar

    vidmar Well-Known Member

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    without taking credit for it.  ;)
    [/quote]

    If it gets built and its called the Bob Stephenson car park I will be pissed off....
    [/quote]

    So would I....my surname is spelt with a v...

    http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/council_then/documents/2005092772att-draftlep.pdf

    This report gives an insight to the issues faced re any re-development of the land...namely the zoning classification of the Brookvale park as "community land"
     
  19. joshw

    joshw New Member

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    The scary part of that report is that the only people who bothered to put in submissions were the residents and schools who were all opposed.

    If the rezoning and redevelopment of the southern end does not go ahead, it will be bye bye brooky.

    We cant afford the residents to be the only ones having a say on this, otherwise it will look like there is 100% community opposition and we will be stuffed.
     
  20. vidmar

    vidmar Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joshw...what's the best way for supporters to get involved and to have their say?
     

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