Queensland’s new $18.8 million facility at Moreton Bay has been announced as a joint winner of the prestigious National Project of Year as part of the AFL’s 2020 Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Awards.
The Nathan Road Sports Complex in Moreton Bay, which boasts new features including an oval the size of the MCG, LED lighting for night matches, a large clubhouse, unisex changerooms for players and umpires, medical rooms, a carpark and playground, shared the headline award with a redevelopment in Melton, Victoria.
The annual awards recognise best practise in community football facility development across Australia, along with the people, clubs and other stakeholders driving the best projects.
The AFL is currently involved in 200 facilities projects in development or under way across the country at all levels of the game, from elite through to grassroots. This includes 39 projects in Queensland. The scale of facilities development benefiting football is unprecedented and is due to the growth of the game nationally, particularly in female football.
AFL General Manager of Game Development, Sam Graham, said: “These projects are remarkable examples of best practise that align very strongly to the AFL’s aim of providing well positioned, welcoming, accessible, fit-for-purpose football facilities that support our growing game’s strategic priorities.
“With participation growth, and the ongoing surge in the popularity of football for women and girls, the planning and development of fit-for-purpose infrastructure plays a vital role in ensuring the game can continue to cater for everyone who wants to be involved.
“We need significant support from all levels of government to make projects like these happen, and both the Moreton Bay and Melton projects are shining examples of what can be achieved when stakeholders across government, local communities and the AFL come together for the benefit of people and communities who will use these magnificent facilities.”
Head of AFL Queensland, Trisha Squires, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this outstanding project, including the Queensland Government, Moreton Bay Regional Council, AFL, local community representatives and contractors.
“We have experienced incredible growth in Australian football in Queensland in recent years and off the back of the historic year that saw Queensland become the unofficial home of the AFL in 2020, interest in the game has never been greater.
“This also means that we need facilities that cater to our game’s needs. Moreton Bay is now home to an incredible facility that will benefit the local community immensely, and helps to ensure our game can continue to grow.”
Ken Gannon had a decorated career across many areas of the game, including as Chief Executive of the Geelong Cats and AFL Victoria. Ken spent much of the last decade of his career developing the AFL’s interest and partnerships in the community facilities space, leading outcomes related to more than 800 community football facility projects in that period.
The announcement of the Nathan Road Sports Complex winning the Ken Gannon Award comes after The Queensland Government and the AFL recently teamed up to announce an $8 million partnership to support new community AFL facilities, with a particular focus on catering to the growth of female football in the state.
Key details about the Nathan Road Sports Complex in Moreton Bay, Queensland
- $18.8M project total cost
- A full-sized AFL Field with capacity for a second within the precinct
- 130 LUX LED lighting
- A large clubhouse with kitchen/bar/canteen facilities
- Two unisex change rooms
- Umpire rooms
- New club office and Storage
- Medical rooms
- Carpark, Playground and Surrounding landscape
The Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Awards recognise best-practice facility development across the country with state winners selected annually, before the national winner is announced. State winners in 2020 (with total project cost):
- NSW/ACT: Lavington Sports Ground Redevelopment, Albury $19.6M
- NT: Elliott Football Oval, Barkly Regional Council $940,000
- Qld: Nathan Road Sports Complex at Redcliffe, Moreton Bay Regional Council $18.8M
- SA: K M Bennett Oval Redevelopment, Whyalla $3.837M
- Tas: Ulverstone Football Ground, Central Coast Council $995,291
- Vic: MacPherson Park Redevelopment, Melton City Council $12.5M
- WA: Ernest Johnson Oval, City of South Perth $10.5M