Western Corridor NRL bid consultant BrianCanavan is happy with the work done to advance the proposal.
Western Corridor NRL bid consultant BrianCanavan is happy with the work done to advance the proposal. Sarah Harvey

Bid marches forward

THE Western Corridor NRL bid has gone into overdrive with a draft strategic plan set to be presented to NRL boss David Gallop.

Western Corridor bid consultant Brian Canavan said the bid had now been costed “from go to whoa.”

“We are now at the stage where we have something concrete to take to our potential corporate and government partners,” Canavan said.

“The strategic plan has hanging off it a business plan which is a full set of financials. Those financials have been done for each of the phases of the bid – the preparation phase, set-up phase and actual commencement phase.

“That budget is extensive – many pages long. The whole document now is in draft form. It is a working document and the working team has seen it and been through it.

“It has been extremely thoroughly done with great co-operation from people in the whole Western Corridor area. Now if we enter into any business arrangement with any entity we then have something concrete to give them.”

Canavan has kept NRL boss David Gallop “in the loop” on the bid and said he had already provided some direction.

“He provides direction as to what needs to be in the submission – without giving anything away,” he said.

“We’ll present the draft document to David and ask him for feedback on the content and presentation.

“We also have to shape his thinking and show him that this is not just an opportunity but that it is a need. Rugby league needs an NRL team in the Western Corridor.”

The QT understands that the annual running cost of an NRL club is around $17million with between $7m and $9m for the football department alone.

Western Corridor bid chairman Steve Johnson said access to established NRL clubs’ books had also proved helpful in projecting realistic costings.

“We didn’t want to move forward into the marketplace until we had the full costing for it,” Johnson said. “We have now done that and we know exactly what each stage will cost.

“Because of Brian’s standing in the game, some NRL clubs have allowed us into their inner sanctum so we can verify our figures – because you can’t just guess a number. We know that our numbers are right.

“This is the second most populated area in Queensland and it is getting bigger.

“If the Gold Coast can sustain a side with their population – then surely we can.”

If accepted, the Western Corridor team will play out of Suncorp Stadium in 2013.

Johnson said a stadium in Ipswich was “on the agenda but realistically it is 10 years away.”