Titans almost forced to go south
THE ugly spat between cash-strapped football clubs and Stadiums Queensland has deepened, with revelations the Gold Coast Titans were last week on the verge of transferring a home game interstate in an attempt to save money.
The Sunday Mail can reveal Titans executives were prepared to move next week's clash against Newcastle away from Cbus Super Stadium because they believed it would save them $50,000.
It is understood a last-minute intervention from the State Government was all that stopped the sensational walkout, which would have sparked mass anger among fans expecting to attend the game on the Gold Coast.
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni refused to discuss any deals, saying they are "commercial in confidence" but continued to say "as I have said before, my goal is to see more sport, more often here in Queensland".
Despite Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last month promising a "shake up" of the Stadiums Queensland board, no action has been taken.
It is understood that moves are expected to be made in the near future, with Cabinet to sign off on any changes to the board.
"I will announce any details of appointments arising from my call for expressions of interest on 10 March of this year at an appropriate time," Mr de Brenni said.
The Sunday Mail last month revealed the growing discontent among football clubs, particularly on the Gold Coast, regarding the hiring costs of State Government-owned stadiums.
Clubs claim they are paying rents and transport levies in Queensland that are between three and five times higher than other states.
Queensland operates on a different model to other states where venue hirers are entitled to take the lion's share of ticketing, food and drink revenue because of a higher upfront cost.
Mr de Brenni yesterday travelled to Adelaide to inspect upgraded facilities at the Adelaide Oval after a tour of The Gabba with Brisbane Heat superstar Chris Lynn revealing the full extent of the rundown player facilities at the state's premier oval stadium.
It comes as The Gabba was recently stripped of the traditional first Test Match of the summer in favour of Perth, which now boasts the new $1.6 billion Optus Stadium, opened in December.