It’s been decades in the making, but the Caboolture Football Club will finally have a home to call its own in 2019, with construction underway on a new multi-million dollar facility in Burpengary.
Featuring Moreton Bay’s first FIFA-rated synthetic field as well as two grass pitches and brand new clubhouse facilities, the complex is set to attract national and international level teams to the region, as well as open up more opportunities for local players.
“We can’t complain about our current facilities at Grant Road,” Caboolture FC Vice-President, Mark Barnett said. “But it is a shared facility, so we only have access to it for half the year, and football now is a nine or ten month (per year) sport, which means in the past we haven’t been able to host finals.
“When you’ve got so many teams playing at once it’s a huge boost for a club to host finals, so we’re excited to finally be able to take advantage of that. It’s been that way ever since these new fields were first proposed about 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until three years ago that it actually became a reality.”
Moreton Bay Regional Council’s announcement earlier in the year of an $11.45 million tender for stage one of construction, as well as the State Government’s contribution of $1.5 million through the ‘Get Playing Plus’ program, confirmed the project was no longer a dream.
Division 2 Councillor Peter Flannery, along with State Members Mark Ryan (Morayfield) and Shane King (Kallangur), joined representatives from Caboolture FC and the Caboolture Sports Club on June 9 to officially mark the beginning of construction.
“We made the decision early on to work very closely with the council and ensure we achieved the outcomes that best suited us to prevent the need to make changes down the track,” Barnett said. “It required a lot of time and effort from committee members in attending design meetings, looking over plans, drawing and re-drawing et cetera.
“I work in the retail design industry, so I was able to put my knowledge to good use in formulating the plans to give to council. They were very receptive of our ideas and have fully taken them on board, so the outcome will be a facility that suits us perfectly and one we can be proud of.”
The benefits of the project will extend far beyond football, with Flannery estimating its construction will create 130 local jobs, and provide a boost in sports tourism.
“Football Queensland has indicated the precinct will be able to attract national exhibition games, carnivals and state-level fixtures,” he said. “Who knows, maybe in a couple of years we might have the next Tim Cahill or Harry Kewell making their mark here at Burpengary.”
Barnett indicated that international touring teams will be invited to train at the venue, and the quality of the facilities would also allow for A-League pre-season and training matches to be hosted there.
“The average sports tourist spends up to $262 each day on local businesses like cafes, shops and accommodation providers, and it’s projects like these that will help to boost sports tourism in our communities and provide an economic injection for local workers and employers,” Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland said.
The facilities will be located at the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, alongside the $14 million AFL Precinct which has hosted AFL exhibition and pre-season games since opening in 2014, and the state-of-the-art Caboolture Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
While the new fields will rival the best in the country, the 638m2 clubhouse, featuring up to six change rooms, stepped seating, a clubroom, viewing areas, office space, officials’ room and a commercial kitchen, will be another major drawcard.
Council recently announced a $2.18 million tender for the construction of the clubhouse, set to begin in November. Caboolture Sports Club Group will contribute $100,000 and part of the ‘Get Playing Plus’ grant will also be allocated to the facility.
Football club representative on Caboolture Sports Club’s board of directors, Michele Rigger, thanked council, state government and the Sports Club for making the dream of a permanent home ground a reality.
“The relocation of our 600-plus playing members in 2019 to the new facility will allow us for the first time ever to conduct all of our pre-season and off-season training at the one venue,” she said. “For the first time ever we will also be able to introduce non-competitive programs, such as summer twilight social games, which will attract new members to our club.”
Barnett also made mention of all the club members and committees that have played a part in the project.
“There’s been countless people over the last 20 years that have put a lot of work into this,” he said. “It has already generated a lot of interest around Football Brisbane, and we’ll start to see the benefits in terms of attracting new people to club as construction gets closer to completion. Everyone at the club is very excited for the move.”