Community have say on stadium upgrade
The Sunshine Coast community has had their say on whether or not the Sunshine Coast Stadium should be upgraded following a major funding shortfall.
While plenty of funding has been committed, the project remains in limbo following news the Federal Government had withdrawn plans to provide $20 million in the upcoming May budget.
A combined $48 million had already been secured for the $68 million project.
This includes a collective $11 million from Sunshine Coast philanthropists Roy Thompson and Rod Forrester ($1 million), $17 million from Sunshine Coast Council and a $20 million commitment from the State Government.
After seeing what prominent Coast identities had to say on the topic the community were given the opportunity to voice their opinion in a Sunshine Coast Daily poll.
A total of 79 per cent of people were in favour of the stadium upgrade which would allow it to host bigger and better events such as music concerts and sporting events.
A further 16 per cent voted against the stadium upgrade and three per cent were unsure.
It comes after the majority of Sunshine Coast sporting clubs revealed their support of the stadium upgrade along with local hotel management, surrounding schools and LNP member for Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie, backing the plans.
Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery is one in support of the upgrade.
"I definitely think the stadium should be upgraded," he told the Daily recently.
"I think the benefits of having a bigger stadium has been well documented already and as we see with the NRL game (Sharks vs Cowboys) that is going to be held there in a couple of months it's a limited capacity of 6000 spectators just due to overall size of the stadium.
"We could have three times that number of people within the ground so it's disappointing that we can't come up with the extra $20 million."
John Orning, Mercure hotel manager, is also one that would love to see the stadium receive the funds it requires.
"Definitely, I think it should go ahead," he said.
"We've already seen the entertainment events and the sporting events that they bring here which welcome so much positivity to the coast and our area.
"Making it so there can be more spectators in a proper way sitting among a grandstand would make it even better."
Meanwhile, former Olympic boxer and past Sunshine Coast Sports Federation president Benny Pike was against the proposed upgrade.
"I think the stadium itself is a positive, but I think as a whole it's in the wrong area and this isn't the right time to do it," he said.
"You're talking about one team in the Sunshine Coast Falcons and some entertainment shows every now and then.
"I think it's a waste of money and it would be far better to spend the money on grassroots sport."