Bill Byrne: No stadium until there’s a team
A STADIUM for Rockhampton could be nothing but a pipe dream, with a chicken and egg scenario playing out between the NRL and the State Government.
State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said without an NRL team, the Labor government had no intention of funding a stadium.
"Should an NRL franchise come to Rockhampton, Labor would contribute $150million to a stadium," he said.
Reports that the State Government had budgeted $100m for a stadium in Townsville, which already has a stadium, were irrelevant to Mr Byrne, who said without an NRL team, Rockhampton would not receive State Government funds.
"That has been the position that we have held for many years," he said. "It has been an absolute commitment to the various stakeholders."
Mr Byrne pointed to a southern newspaper article yesterday which quoted NRL's head of game strategy and development Shane Richardson saying that expanding the number of teams in the competition was unlikely.
"The information we gathered is that we would be stretching going to 17 or 18 teams," he was quoted as saying. "It would have a dramatic effect on the quality of the games."