Brighton Homes Arena is a 10,000-seat stadium complex being built in Springfield, Queensland, Australia. It will serve as the home ground and training base for the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) team of professional football club Brisbane Lions.
The new facility will also be used as a training facility for the men’s team representing the Brisbane Lions club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Owned by Ipswich City Council, the Australian sports complex site is leased to the Brisbane Lions Football Club for 99 years. The stadium is being developed jointly by AFL, Brisbane Lions, Ipswich City Council, Springfield City Group, and the Queensland and Australian governments.
The facility is likely to be completed in late 2022, before the start of the AFLW 2023 season.
Brighton Homes Arena is located approximately 30km south of Brisbane in Springfield, Queensland. It is accessible to the neighbouring train station at Springfield.
The new facility will become the first sporting facility in the country to provide equal elite training for professional men’s and women’s AFL teams upon completion.
The centre is expected to meet the training needs of players of all levels from junior teams to elite athletes, supporting talent across all ages.
The purpose-built training facility will include a 50m×35m indoor training field, a high-performance gymnasium, a lap pool, and aquatic recovery pools along with advanced learning and teaching facilities for athlete development, events lawn and community spaces, including a childcare centre.
The stadium and training centre will support the development of future footballers through the club’s Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy.
An administration centre within the stadium complex will include meeting rooms, an auditorium and a cafe.
The new stadium will be able to host up to 25 major events a year. It will have the capacity to accommodate up to 10,000 spectators, with a grandstand seating for up to 600 and technical infrastructure to broadcast the events.
The project will also involve pedestrian concourses, permanent shade, catering facilities and seating for people with disabilities. Furthermore, recreational facilities will be built as part of the open community hub.
The Brighton Homes Arena will also be used to host non-sporting events such as festivals and community gatherings. A multi-storey parking facility is being built next to the site to accommodate more than 1,000 cars.
Brisbane Lions ascertained the need to relocate its training and administration base from the Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba, in Brisbane in 2011 and proposed to build a new base in Springfield.
The relocation plan was mooted to address issues with access to the Gabba in the summer due to the cricket season and eliminate the need to train at several locations across Brisbane rather than a single facility. The situation affected athlete preparation and cause logistic challenges for the movement of the training equipment from one location to another.
In 2013, the proposal was temporarily shelved due to a lack of government funding. It was revived again in 2016 following the introduction of the AFLW competition, which highlighted the urgent need for a summer home venue and a dedicated training centre for the club’s women’s team.
After a thorough review of options in 2017, the Springfield site was finalised as an ideal location. The Brisbane Lions secured funding from Ipswich City Council and the Queensland and Australian governments in 2018 and 2019 to proceed with the construction of the new home base in Springfield.
In May 2021, Brisbane Lions announced a naming rights partnership with homebuilder Brighton Homes and named the facility Brighton Homes Arena.
Preliminary earthworks were completed in April 2020, which involved the rerouting of Mountain Creek to accommodate the facility, creating building pads and spectator mounds and shaping of the oval sub-base.
Grass and trees were also planted along the creek to re-establish riparian vegetation. The ground-breaking of the sports facility took place in May 2021.
The project is being built with a total investment of A$70m ($54.15m). Ipswich City Council, the Queensland Government and the Australian Government contributed A$20m ($15.5m), A$18m ($14m) and A$15m ($11.6m), respectively, for the project. The remaining investment has been contributed by Brisbane Lions and the AFL.
Brisbane Lions formed a partnership with Brighton Homes in 2019, which is an official sponsor for the club.
Populous, a multi-national architecture firm based in the US, was selected by the developers to design the new sports venue. Australian construction company Hutchinson Builders is responsible for the facility’s construction under a contract worth A$58.3m ($45m), which is estimated to take 100 weeks to complete.
Hutchinson selected the Australian engineering firm VAE Group for the design and construction of the mechanical services at the site. Local company Northrop was selected to provide structural engineering services for the project while BRW was contracted to provide hydraulic engineering services.
Consultancy firm COHA Group is providing project management services while Q Electrical is offering electrical engineering services. Napier & Blakeley, property development and sustainability consultant, was awarded a contract for quantity surveying. Building surveying and consulting firm Knisco is the building certifier for the project.
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