Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Jets Bid Deals Best Hand; Ipswich NRL Plan Worth Considering

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Jets Bid Deals Best Hand; Ipswich NRL Plan Worth Considering

Article excerpt

IF you read a report from the metropolitan media last week, you'd think the Sunshine Coast was working on a bid for an NRL team.

Wrong.

While Rockhampton and Ipswich are preparing serious proposals to have an NRL club included from the 2013 competition, moves for the Sunshine Coast to be involved in the bidding war, which also involves the NSW Central Coast as a chief contender, never really made it past first base.

Unless some white knight multi-millionaire appears to fund the Coast case, the best we can hope for is convincing one of the other bidders to play a couple of premiership matches at Stockland Park.

Expansion is largely a fight about dollars Co who can provide them now and prove they can provide them for many years to come.

The Coast doesn't have the type of economy needed to support an NRL side and, to be truthful, we haven't really shown that we're ready to turn up regularly in enough numbers to help a new club's viability either.

Up in Rockhampton, there's no shortage of optimism about their chances of gaining an NRL berth should rugby league's soon-to-be-formed independent commission give the green light to expansion.

NRL CEO David Gallop and chief operating officer Graham Annesley spent two days in the area last week, meeting members of the CQ bid team, led by local mining magnate Geoff Murphy.

Gallop took questions at a forum at CQ University and said the biggest hurdle facing the local bid was whether or not the game expanded at all.

"We've got a quality competition that we're going to take to television broadcasters in around the middle of 2011 and try and make sure [we] do a record deal for the game," he said.

"It'll be at that point when I think expansion becomes a really relevant point for the game. Having looked around today, I think Central Queensland is right in the mix."

The CQ bid team has pre-season games in Bundaberg as one of its thoughts, but no plans on venturing further south.

So our best hope may lie with the Ipswich bid which is led by Jets chairman Steven Johnson, who last week said he was negotiating a home for the Ipswich team, most probably Suncorp Stadium, and would be announcing high-profile supporters soon. …

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