National Rugby Training Centre opens at Ballymore

The $31.5 million National Rugby Training Centre (NRTC) has been officially opened, heralding in a new era at Ballymore as Queensland’s first home of women’s sport.

The NRTC will become the new national headquarters for Women’s XV Rugby, housing the Australian Wallaroos team, while also serving as a new training base for the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team, Super W squads, the Reds 7s and Reds Academy plus elite pathway programs.

The world-class facility includes a rebuilt McLean Stand with a 3,000-spectator capacity, aquatic recovery centre, with separate facilities for men and women, and an 800m2 high-performance gym.

It also features a 77-person capacity auditorium, 120-seat players’ lounge and function spaces, plus multiple change rooms and football offices that will serve as the home for the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) and Rugby Australia’s women’s referee programs.

The rebuilt McLean Stand extends the Ballymore facility’s capacity to 8,000, with the stadium set to host Wallaroos test matches, Queensland Premier Rugby finals, Japan Rugby League One Grand Final and the Brisbane Roar Women’s A-League home games in 2023-24.

The redevelopment was funded by the Australian Government ($15 million), Queensland Government ($15 million) and Queensland Rugby Foundation ($1.5 million). The new centre was built by the QRU’s leading contractors Buildcorp, with more than 1,000 construction jobs supported during the build.

As part of the QRU’s masterplan, designed by leading architects BlightRayner, the Ballymore site will become the 2032 Olympic venue for hockey and see the construction of a centre of excellence for Sport Climbing and Bouldering, plus a swim school to support the next generation of Olympic athletes in multiple sports.

It will also include three new buildings with a total area of 5,000m2 reserved for sports administration, sports recreation, allied health and sports medicine, as well as transport and sustainability solutions to form a central part of Brisbane’s Olympic Green Corridor.

Quotes attributable to Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“These works signal the rebirth of Ballymore and make it the home of women’s rugby and football in Australia, and will also play an important role in the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,”

“To have the Wallaroos and the Brisbane Roar women call Ballymore home is a tremendous vote of confidence in the venue which holds a special place in the hearts of Queensland sports lovers.

“As we head towards 2032, we expect to see more international teams choose Ballymore as their venue of choice, including the 2027 Rugby World Cup and the 2029 Women’s Rugby World Cup.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Education, Senator Anthony Chisholm:

“The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will transform Brisbane into one of the world’s new sporting hubs. The Albanese Government is proud to support this new world-class centre here in Ballymore, which will cater for local athletes and fans before and after the games.

“With increased spectator capacity, a new training base and other facilities, the NRTC will provide more opportunities for Queenslanders to participate in sports right here in Ballymore.

“This new centre has already provided a boost to the Brisbane economy by supporting over 1,000 jobs during construction. I look forward to cheering on the Wallaroos and Reds in this magnificent facility for the first time.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Tourism and Sport, Stirling Hinchliffe:

“Ballymore has been earmarked as a venue for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, so it’s terrific to see such an impressive redevelopment and advanced legacy infrastructure completed nine years out from the Games.

“Planning to upgrade the Eastern Stand is also well advanced, which will bring the ground closer to that 12 to 15,000-seat capacity.

“The stadium has witnessed some historic moments in Australian sport over the years, including the Wallabies clinching the Bledisloe Cup back in 1992. Now it’s over to the next generation of athletes to make the new revamped Ballymore their field of dreams.”

Quotes attributable to QRU CEO, David Hanham:

“It’s an exciting day for Ballymore as we open the NRTC and new McLean Stand. The NRTC will be a world-class high-performance facility that will leave a lasting legacy for Queensland Rugby men’s and women’s pathway programs through to the Wallabies and Wallaroos.

“The vision for Ballymore is to become a multi-sport precinct that will be Queensland’s first home for women’s rectangular sport. Ballymore will also be a great community venue that will create a family-fun festival atmosphere where you will want to arrive early and stay late.

“Our vision for Ballymore supports a golden runway of major Rugby and international sporting events leading into the 2032 Brisbane Olympics including the 2025 British and Irish Lions Tour, as well as the 2027 Men’s and 2029 Women’s Rugby World Cups.”