JAMMED IN: A record 11,900 spectators packed into Sunshine Coast between New Zealand Warriors and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
JAMMED IN: A record 11,900 spectators packed into Sunshine Coast between New Zealand Warriors and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. John McCutcheon

Stadium upgrade key to Olympic, NRL bids

CLAWING back fans from pay-per-view to live action is spurring Sunshine Coast Stadium staff to deliver a venue and experiences too good to stay away from.

Sunshine Coast Council sport and community venues branch manager Grantley Switzer said live sport and entertainment was making its way back after a period during which pay-per-view deals "really took patrons away from venues".

"For the team at the stadium, it's about creating an experience where people create memories by being present, not by watching on television or their device," he said.

They'll be doing that under plenty of pressure though, as other regions across the country enhance their sports and entertainment venues in a bid to lure away some of the Coast's current crop of events.

"We have to work hard to keep them here but also look at ways of improving our offering so we can attract those new events," Mr Switzer said.

"So whilst we have a terrific regional venue, future investment will be required to just keep pace."

Mr Switzer said they were trying to attract high-end content while ensuring the community could access the facility.

"A high-performing stadium is widely regarded as a key element of the public infrastructure mix of contemporary, urban cities," he said.

"It provides a place of celebration and activation, as well as offering a drawcard and capability for the staging of major events, which deliver significant economic and social value to the community over the life of the asset.

"I think we are setting the platform for more NRL games, and this would hopefully extend to other sports such as Super Rugby, A-League, Rugby Sevens etc.

"The stadium we have today will no doubt grow in its offering, and with projected population growth, it is not unreasonable to believe we will have our own Sunshine Coast team in one of the major football codes within the next 30 years."

He said an enhanced stadium would play a key role in the 2032 Olympics if the South-east Queensland bid came to fruition.

"Other events such as major live music events, e-sports, drone racing and other virtual events could be part of the regular profile at the stadium over this period," Mr Switzer said.

Technology would also impact the future of the facility.

"Over the next 30 years technology will play a massive role in the event experience at sports and entertainment venues - Wi-Fi, streaming, in-seat service, drone delivery of your requests are all future possibilities," he said.