It has been built and they're coming
Friday's announcement that the Manly Sea Eagles and New Zealand Warriors will play an NRL preseason trial on the Sunshine Coast is a big raspberry to everyone who did not support the construction of Sunshine Coast Stadium.
It will be the first time an NRL game has been played on the Coast since the Broncos and Storm attracted 8000 people to
Stockland Park in February 2009. And while that game was a great spectacle, it was also financially draining on the Sunshine
Coast Sea Eagles who hosted the match.
The cost of hiring temporary seating and other facilities made the exercise prohibitive and was the reason top-flight rugby league
has not been played on the Coast since then.
That was until the $10 million redevelopment of the Stockland Park main field - or Sunshine Coast Stadium as it is now known The 1000-seat grandstand is a marvellous facility befitting our region which boasts a population of more than 300,000.
I can't tell you how many times this season while standing around in the sheds after a game I heard visiting teams extolling the virtues of the venue.
And it is not just the players. While I don't have figures to back this up, it was plain to anyone that crowds for the region's top three teams - the Sea Eagles, Fire and Stingrays - increased by a healthy margin once they started playing out of Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The Fire have already hosted two A-League teams, the Brisbane Roar and Gold Coast United, at the ground.
The Roar game, especially, was a massive success and was the first to sell out the grandstand.
The Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles made it clear that they would not have been able to host the Manly- The 1000-seat grandstand is a marvellous facility befitting our region which boasts a population of more than 300,000 Warriors match if Sunshine Coast
Stadium were not available to them. The exercise would have been just too expensive.
The Sea Eagles are hoping the event will bring in 6000 people and that is more than feasible. They have promised to keep
prices down and the match shapes as a high-quality affair - after all, both sides are still alive in week three of the NRL finals.
The Warriors, especially, have a big following in South East Queensland.
The crowd at the Broncos-Warriors match at Suncorp Stadium in week one of the finals was half Kiwis. The club's fans get one or
two chances to see them play live each year and one would imagine they would take the chance to travel up the Coast.
Sunshine Coast Stadium does lend weight to the adage that if you build it they will come.
Sunshine Coast Daily