Four months following the official opening of the National Rugby Training Centre (NRTC) at Ballymore, the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has celebrated the operational success of the new facility.
Between July and October this year, close to 31,000 people (spectators, players, corporate guests and staff) have flooded Ballymore to utilise the NRTC and new McLean Stand across 105 fixtures comprising of 74 teams competing in eight tournaments with 14 corporate functions also hosted at the world-class facility during this time.
QRU CEO David Hanham said: “It’s a new era for Ballymore.
“It’s been great to see Ballymore thriving again with thousands of players, fans and guests using the NRTC across several sporting events and functions in just four months, as well as seeing the Wallaroos enjoy the facility for their first training camp in preparation for back-to-back tournaments in New Zealand.
“The strength of the game continues to thrive in Queensland with more than 71,000 players across the state with more than 16,000 of them being female participants.
“It’s also great to see the continued growth of rugby in Queensland schools with 257 schools playing rugby this year with 164 of these having female teams.
“A big thank you goes to our QRU staff, corporate partners and community rugby workforce for delivering this first set of fixtures and functions with plenty more to come before the end of the year including hosting Japanese powerhouse the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights, the Oceania Sevens Championship plus Brisbane Roar women’s A-League matches.
“This supports our vision for Ballymore to become a multi-sport community precinct and Queensland’s first home for women’s rectangular sport.
“Ballymore is also an Olympic venue with a golden runway of major international events leading into the 2032 Brisbane Games.
“The NRTC is stage one of Ballymore’s redevelopment with exciting future infrastructure set to be realised in the coming years as part of the precinct’s master plan,” said Hanham.
Courtesy of the QRU’s partnership with the Queensland Cricketers’ Club, 14 functions have been hosted inside the new Murrayfield Room and other corporate suites at the NRTC with 890 guests having enjoyed the excellent hospitality and food and beverage options available.
As the new home of the Wallaroos, the Australian women’s XV program has held numerous camps at the NRTC since its July opening preparing for the Laurie O'Reilly Cup and World Rugby’s season-ending WXV1 tournament in New Zealand.
With a new world-class training base including state-of-the-art recovery facilities, gymnasium and lecture theatre, the Queensland Reds Super Rugby, Super W, Sevens, Academy and elite pathway programs have all made full use of the NRTC with each program plus the Wallaroos collaboratively sharing the precinct during the week.
It’s not just professional programs, but also community clinics who have enjoyed the redeveloped venue including Rookie to Reds clinics during school holidays and TAFE Queensland students studying a Certificate II in Sport Coaching as part of their partnership with the QRU.
Outside of these programs using the NRTC on a regular basis, Ballymore has hosted the following eight rugby tournaments and fixtures since July:
- Queensland Premier Rugby Grand Finals
- Queensland Rugby Challenger Series
- Emerging Reds Cup
- Queensland Junior State 7s Championships
- Brisbane City (BJRU) v Queensland Country junior fixtures
- Australian Rugby Shield
- U16s Barbarians v U16s Reds fixture
- Super Rugby U16s and U19s Reds fixtures
Within these tournaments, 74 male and female teams consisting of 3,380 players competed across a total of 105 matches in front of 26,500 spectators in the past four months at Ballymore.
A further 93 matches and 39,500 spectators are forecasted to attend national and international fixtures at the venue before the end of the year.
As a new era is heralded for Ballymore, the iconic venue will be transformed into a world-class multi-sport facility as the first home of women’s rectangular sport ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
It comes as the Brisbane Roar Women will play three home fixtures during the 2023/24 Liberty A-League season at Ballymore in October and November, plus a further two matches in early 2024.
With the addition of football, up to four women’s sports (rugby union, hockey, sport climbing and football) will all use the facility in the next decade as part of Ballymore’s golden runway leading into the Olympic Games.
A sold-out crowd is expected on Saturday November 4 when six-time Japan Top League champions the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights battle the Reds for the Queensland-Saitama Shield in the first Queensland-capped fixture at Ballymore since 2010.
While the QRU is eagerly awaiting the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship in late November where 66 matches will be played across three exciting days as the official first major international tournament at the newly redeveloped Ballymore.
Tickets go on sale next Wednesday October 11 for next month’s Reds v Wild Knights fixture at Ballymore – head to reds.rugby to secure your seat, while for Brisbane Roar and Oceania Sevens tickets please click on the below links:
CLICK HERE to purchase Brisbane Roar tickets
CLICK HERE to purchase Oceania Sevens tickets:
NRTC Success Snapshot (July – October 2023)
- 30,890 total attendance
- 26,500 spectators
- 3,380 players (male and female)
- 890 corporate guests
- 120 staff
- 105 matches
- 74 teams (male and female)
- 8 tournaments
- 10 professional and community rugby programs
- 14 corporate functions
Still to come at Ballymore (October – December 2023)
- Brisbane Roar Women v Sydney FC – 21 October
- Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies U16s & U19s – 28 October
- Queensland Reds v Saitama Panasonic Wild Knight – 4 November
- Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship – 10, 11, 12 November
- Brisbane Roar Women v Western United – 19 November
- Brisbane Roar Women v Adelaide United – 25 November