Ballymore stadium in Herston has long been slated for expansion, in different forms, but has experienced setbacks, changes in direction and funding challenges.
Now, a National Rugby Training Centre is set to be built on site, providing an elite training centre for the Queensland Reds and the Australian Wallaroos rugby union teams.
The McLean Stand, named in honour of the McLean family’s contribution to Queensland rugby, will be demolished and rebuilt to house the new facility.
However, the $30 million project has not been without drama, with Queensland Rugby Union life members Lyn Crowley and Dick McGruther launching a last-ditch attempt to have the McLean Stand heritage listed.
The QRU had already commissioned a heritage assessment, which found the grandstand did not meet the criteria for protection. The Queensland Heritage Council agreed, and its decision not to protect the grandstand was formally gazetted last week.
The QRU intends to salvage and reuse elements of the McLean Stand, including stain-glassed windows and doors from the Murrayfield Room and the original Ballymore clock.
Ballymore has been used for rugby union games since 1966, and the grandstand was built the following year. The Queensland Reds now play at Suncorp Stadium.