Swann backs Lions move

Brighton Homes Arena (BHA).

A new partnership between Brisbane Lions and Ipswich City Council was endorsed by the council on 24 May, leveraging the club’s Ipswich base to create greater opportunities for the city and residents.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said establishing the Brisbane Lions headquarters, high-performance training base, and the AFLW home ground in Springfield Central had presented a unique opportunity for Ipswich to shine on the national stage.

“This strategic partnership ensures Ipswich generates maximum benefit from having a tier-one national sporting organisation headquartered right here in our city,” Mayor Harding said.

“In combining forces with the Brisbane Lions, we have jointly identified a range of positive marketing, advocacy, economic and community outcomes that can be achieved for the City of Ipswich.

“Female athlete and sports administrator programs, an event delivery and hospitality training program, as well as a Lions Institute of Business and Sport program through TAFE Queensland are just some of the formal pathways the Brisbane Lions have opened up to Ipswich residents.

“Partnering with a powerful national brand like the Brisbane Lions also means greater access to economic development opportunities, corporate networks, and advocacy that can benefit our city.

“Ipswich is one of the fastest-growing cities in Queensland and has a booming local economy, recently smashing through the $13 billion mark for Gross Regional Product. It’s crucial that we leverage every opportunity to support our rapid growth and ensure continued prosperity into the future.

“I’m thrilled that the City of Ipswich will soon be recognised Australia-wide for its support and involvement in men’s and women’s AFL, as an official partner of the mighty Lions.”

Mayor Harding said the $300,000 per annum three-year partnership had been in negotiation since the Brisbane Lions set up their headquarters, AFL and AFLW high performance training base, AFLW home ground and VFL home ground in partnership with Ipswich City Council in 2022.

“This investment will open more doors and create more opportunities for our city and its residents.

“They might be the Brisbane Lions, but it will be Ipswich that roars from partnering with this pre-eminent club.”

Brisbane Lions CEO Greg Swann said Ipswich City Council’s support was crucial for the development of Brighton Homes Arena (BHA).

“We’re really pleased with the move to the growing Ipswich region and the new opportunities it is presenting the club,” Mr Swann said.

“I want to acknowledge and thank the Mayor and Councillors for their ongoing support of the Lions and I’m excited about what the club and council can deliver into the future.

“We’ve recently passed our first anniversary based in Ipswich and It’s been really pleasing to report that the BHA precinct has seen more than 316,000 visitations during our first year of operations.

“We want the precinct to be a year-round attraction for sport, community and educational purposes and our work with council will make this a reality.”