Les Stagg Oval revamp opens opportunities for Brahmans
A NEW piece of infrastructure at Les Stagg Oval could be the key to drawing more spectators to footy games and hosting more high-profile matches in Proserpine.
The Queensland Government last week announced Les Stagg Oval had been given a chunk of Works for Queensland funding to demolish one of its grandstands and construct a new one.
The oval is the home turf of the Whitsunday Brahmans Proserpine Rugby League Football Club and club manager Bryce Fraser said the funding was great news.
The plan was to demolish the uncovered grandstand and build a covered one to join the other undercover grandstand already at the oval, he said.
"It was well and truly needed, the existing structure we had was fairly dilapidated, just old and outdated, verging on a bit of a safety issue," Fraser said.
"If you sat there and it rained, which wasn't overly unusual on winter nights, spectators were getting wet.
"It'll give sun protection and also wet weather protection."
Fraser also hoped the new grandstand would encourage more spectators to head down to the ground.
"It does turn people off coming to the football so if we've got the facilities there to house people under cover that'll definitely help," he said.
While the Brahmans may have pulled the pin on this season due to coronavirus, Fraser said the funding would be the gift that kept on giving at Les Stagg Oval.
"We're a pretty footy mad town with a fairly large junior base, it's good to see that they're investing a bit of money in that for our future," he said.
"It'll hopefully benefit a local contractor and it'll be good for the local economy around town."
Fraser hoped the upgrade would also mean more higher-profile games could be held at the oval such as a Mackay Cutters match or a Queensland Cup clash.
It would not only give residents an opportunity to watch the game, but will also give juniors an insight into a possible path for their future in the sport.
Fraser said regional areas could produce future NRL stars after former Brahman Kai O'Donnell lined up for his first match with the Canberra Raiders at the weekend.
"It definitely gives them a goal and a sight of what's to come if they do decide to take their football further," Fraser said.
"A few local players go through the Cutters and it definitely shows it's a stepping stone."
Whitsunday Regional Council was granted a share of $11 million in Works for Queensland funding that was divided between the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac regions.
The money will mean 15 projects get off the ground in the Whitsundays, including upgrading the kiosk at the Proserpine Aquatic Facility and repairing the roof at Whitsunday Coast Airport.