Rocky NRL stadium would be waste of taxpayers’ money

It’s disappointing that Queensland taxpayers will likely have to pay for a stadium in Rockhampton to host a new Central Queensland NRL team:

Rocky to get footy stadium: Newman

It’s disappointing because I doubt that the Queensland Government body Stadiums Queensland is fully recovering the costs of operating its stadiums. It’s highly likely, in my view, that the new Rocky stadium would involve a significant ongoing subsidy from Queensland taxpayers to the NRL.

Stadiums Queensland owns and operates a $1.3bn portfolio of stadiums and other venues – including Suncorp Stadium, the Gabba, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and Dairy Farmers Stadium – but could only generate an operating profit of $35 million in 2009-10 (see pages 60-61 of the Stadiums Queensland Annual Report).

This return on assets of less than 3% is very low and suggests Stadiums Queensland isn’t fully recovering its costs. So it’s very likely Queensland taxpayers will subsidise the NRL’s venture into Central Queensland.

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