A sea of purple, and a crowd of cheering supporters will greet the Queensland Firebirds this afternoon (4 May), when they play their first ever Suncorp Super Netball match at their new home, the Queensland State Netball Centre.
The new centre, located at the Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre (QSAC) in Nathan, features eight indoor hard courts, including a 5,000 seat show court, a gymnasium and high performance training facilities.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk opened the new $44 million facility in February this year which is designed to showcase and strengthen the talents of elite netballers and inspire and nurture junior players.
“I hope to see the stands full of cheering Queensland fans this weekend, showing their support for the Firebirds, and their love of the game, in this brand new centre,” Ms Palaszczuk said
“We want all Queensland women and girls to aspire to be the next Laura Geitz, to lead and maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle, which is why the my government is investing in sporting infrastructure such as this.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said the upcoming match sees the Firebirds up against the Suncorp #TeamGirls Cup preseason champions the Collingwood Magpies.
“Nielsen Sports research shows netball engagement has experienced rapid growth across Australia, with more than one in five adults are fans or consumers of the sport, so we’re looking forward to some enthusiastic crowds,” he said.
“This is a great chance for Queensland fans to show their support at the new centre and I can’t wait to hear ‘Fire up, Firebirds’ as loud as possible from fans.”
QSAC Venue Manager Mirella Taylor said the centre was a great addition to QSAC.
“QSAC is a world-class training base for junior and community athletes, as well as emerging and elite competitors and I’m sure all our athletes will benefit from access to the large range of sporting amenities and expertise on site,” Ms Taylor said.
“The centre has also been a wonderful new addition event-wise, having already hosted the Suncorp Super Netball pre-season tournament and the Harlem Globetrotters, so I’m really excited to see the competition get underway.
“The Firebird’s 2019 season kicked off in Victoria last month (27 April), with the team suffering a 71-65 loss to the Melbourne Vixens, despite an aggressive 7-1 lead in the opening minutes.
Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson said the team couldn’t wait to get onto the court.
“With purple from the change-rooms to the centre-court, there’s no question this is the home of the Firebirds, which will give our girls a huge boost and no doubt intimidate the Magpies,” Ms Simpson said.
“The stadium represents every netballer and every fan in our community, and we’re excited to get out there and christen our new home.
“We’re all working extremely hard to secure the win, but most importantly we all love playing netball, and I think that love of the game is what really rallies our fan-base.”
The QSNC supported 132 full-time equivalent jobs during design and construction, and was jointly-funded by the Queensland Government ($34 million) and the Australian Government ($10 million), with land donated by the Brisbane City Council.
For Suncorp Super Netball tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au
Ticket-holders are entitled to free travel to and from the event on all regular network-wide Brisbane City Council buses and Queensland Rail City Network trains.