Central Qld's NRL bid gains momentum - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Central Qld's NRL bid gains momentum

By Laine Clark 01/06/2010 06:32:01 PM Comments (0)

Momentum is building behind Central Queensland's NRL bid after state premier Anna Bligh committed to building a $140 million, 25,000-seat stadium.

The CQ bid's CEO, Denis Keeffe on Tuesday said he believed he now had a "compelling case" to present to NRL boss David Gallop after meeting with Bligh.

The Queensland Premier met with the bid's bosses on Sunday to commit to funding a stadium - expected to be in Rockhampton - similar in size to the Gold Coast Titans' Skilled Park.

Keeffe said the stadium guarantee eliminated their biggest hurdle.

He was now focused on completing the other main criteria demanded by Gallop - collecting 30,000 signatures by the year's end.

However, he was confident after the bid team already gathered about 17,000 including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as "petitioner No.1".

Mr Rudd has also promised to attend their first home game should CQ successfully enter the NRL.

"The onus is on us and the general community now to produce 30,000 bid members to back up this fantastic commitment by the very supportive state government and Regional Council," Keeffe said.

The CQ NRL bid is considered favourites along with NSW's Central Coast as the next teams to be added to the NRL as early as 2013.

While the CQ region boasts almost 20,000 supporter members, more than 6000 juniors and is the centre of mining resources, a lack of a stadium had been seen as a major stumbling block for the bid.

"The big box - the stadium - is ticked," CQ NRL chairman Geoff Murphy said.

"This stadium commitment from the Premier is massive for the CQ NRL bid.

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