Bid decision a no brainer

IT’S as easy one, two, three, according to the CQ NRL Bid chairman Denis Keeffe.

That’s his belief of how the NRL hierarchy should come to its decision of handing the CQ an NRL team licence when it makes its choice.

Keeffe has outlined the dominant reasons why Central Queensland is the obvious choice for a team in the national league competition.

“When deciding the location of an expanded NRL club, the decision-making process is simple,” the CEO stated.

Three vital factors need to be identified and every applicant for an NRL licence will be scrutinised or rated against these three key requirements.

“The applicant with the best overall rating will be the one which can demonstrate that it is the most commercially viable, the best supported and the club with the highest local player content,” Keeffe said.

“That is, the club that will benefit the NRL and other NRL clubs by ‘growing the pie’ as NRL chief executive David Gallop insists.”

Those regions in the hunt for a license include Perth, Adelaide, Ipswich, the Sunshine Coast and Gosford, and Keeffe feels if you look at the main criteria, CQ is a walk-up start to be given a licence.

The major aspects include position and popularity of league in the respective community, the status of a currently available or committed stadium, as well as the number and popularity and resourcefulness of competitor in any other national sporting competition based in the same region.

Keeffe is hasty to point out these are all easily quantifiable, and the stats tell the CQ NRL bid story.

“We have almost 7,000 registered juniors playing rugby league and over 400,000 Central Queenslanders watched each of the recently played State of Origin games,” he said.

“I can’t find the numbers of players for Perth, or Adelaide.

“I would expect that player numbers would be much lower than our numbers and I know State of Origin viewers in these cities were less than 10 per cent of CQ viewers of the same game.”

Keeffe acknowledged junior numbers were strong in Ipswich, the Sunshine Coast and Gosford, but CQ had them easily covered.

As for a stadium, Keeffe said the recent commitment by a “very supportive” Premier Anna Bligh to construct a facility was as good as the bricks and mortar Perth and Gosford currently enjoy.

“Adelaide is uncommitted and Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast will not have a separate compliant stadium unless they play at Suncorp which is not ideal for them,” Keeffe said. And thirdly, the lack of competition, as Central Queensland has no sporting team playing at a national level also ticks the box, according to the CEO, and should be looked upon favourably.

“Perth is home for two AFL teams, one A League, one Super 15, two National Basketball League teams and a state cricket team,” he said.

“Adelaide is almost the same but doesn’t have Super 15.

“Ipswich, and Sunshine Coast encompass the Broncos (Roar, Lions, Reds) territory and Gosford is an important region for the Newcastle Knights NRL Club.”

Central Queensland is the easy winner of criteria number one, Keeffe equated, Central Queensland is equal first in number two, and Central Queensland is also the easy winner of number three.

“From my somewhat biased tallying the winner is an absolute no brainer.”

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