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.
“It’s infrastructure projects like this, that create jobs and support the local economy and that’s what my government is committed to, not just here in Townsville but right across the state.”
Australian Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the stadium would make a significant difference to the Townsville community.
“The Morrison Government is proud it can help build this world-class stadium, which will be enjoyed by the people of Townsville for decades to come,” Minister Tudge said.
The Premier paid tribute to the largely local workforce for their hard work in making the stadium a reality.
“With construction now at its peak, local subcontractors have already completed almost 92 per cent of construction hours, exceeding the contractor’s target of 80 per cent,” she said.
“Over 88 per cent of workers inducted to the site live in North Queensland, and some 481 local businesses have also been engaged through the extended supply chain, supporting even more North Queensland jobs and creating valuable opportunities for local businesses to upskill their teams.”
Managing contractor Watpac has engaged Camatic Seating the only Australian company that build the world-class fit-fit-for purpose seats and have experience in supplying similar seating to major stadiums around the country like Robina, Rod Laver Arena and the MCG.
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 1300 Smiles 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 Thompson 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 Thompson said.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said fans and visitors will have no doubt where they were thanks to the North Queensland Stadium’s iconic design.
“Whether you’re inside or out the pandanus theme continues throughout the stadium as seating is distributed in an angular pattern that complements the stadium’s spectacular roof.”
Director Adam Fisher said his company continues to work closely with Allunga Exposure Laboratory, located just outside of Townsville, to test all materials it places in external environments.
“Allunga understands the toll that the strong Queensland sun can take on outdoor fixtures, so it makes sense to partner with them for our testing,” he said.
“These seats are renowned for their comfort and we’re proud to be bringing this high-quality product to the stadium, in customised colours and arrangement.”
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 forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.
- 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.