NRL bid is a primary focus for Pisasale in 2015
ENSURING the Western Corridor NRL bid is given the green light will be a primary focus of Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale in the next 12 months.
The NRL is expected to make a decision on expansion at the end of the 2015 season with the view to aligning a move to an 18 team-competition with the next broadcast deal in 2018.
With key broadcaster Channel Nine pushing for an extra side to play out of Suncorp Stadium, the Western Corridor bid is in prime position to make a compelling case.
Rugby League Week magazine recently compared all seven current NRL bid teams and came to the conclusion that the Western Corridor and Perth bids were the two that should be given the green light.
Cr Pisasale, the Western Corridor bid patron, said he had this message for NRL CEO David Smith:
"The Ipswich, Logan and Toowoomba corridor is the strongest area for rugby league talent in the country," he said.
"Yamanto is the strongest membership base for the Brisbane Broncos.
"You need to go where the rugby league fish are biting, and they are biting in Ipswich.
"We have the best bid in the country. We have a bid that will utilise Suncorp Stadium on alternate weeks.
"We have a bid that will strengthen and not dilute the game."
With the Brisbane Lions deciding not to move their training and administration base to Ipswich City Council-owned land at Springfield, council's optimum choice would be to locate the Western Corridor NRL bid team there.
The bid must first be granted a licence for that to occur.
Council is set to work with state and federal government and the Western Corridor NRL bid to base an elite team in the city.
Ipswich City Council's sports boss David Morrison said there was an opportunity to re-badge their funding applications for an NRL side that were already before government.
Council had applied for $10 million through the Queensland Government's Royalties to Regions Program and $10 million from the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund.
The parcel of land at Springfield is big enough to cater to the major sporting franchises
Cr Morrison said A-League and Super Rugby also could be located there.
"The main parcel of land had the capacity to have a stadium and AFL size field the size of the MCG," he said.
"With all the fields we design in the city we use the AFL size field as the measure because they use the biggest fields of any sporting code in Australia."