The new community-centred home of the AFL’s North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, The Hutchinson Builders Centre, has been officially opened.
Built on a 17,000m² site beside Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the A$40-million gleaming new jewel in the Cowboys crown is a testament to the collaboration between the club and all levels of government to create a state-of-the-art community, training and high-performance centre for North Queensland.
Delivered by managing contractor Hutchinson Builders and architects Populous, in conjunction with Tippett Schrock Architects, the Townsville landmark is a contemporary, multi-purpose building spread across three levels and features an indoor field, wet recovery area, team auditorium, broadcast studio and prime top-floor commercial space.
Cowboys Chairman Lewis Ramsay said:
Embarking on our first research tours of other professional high-performance facilities was definitely a ‘dare to dream’ moment for us, and we knew we had to seize the opportunity to take the Cowboys to the next level in our evolution as an elite sporting organisation.
We also saw the economic potential for our region and, driven by our commitment as a community-owned club, we set about creating a space that would generate local employment, develop local athletic talent, attract new revenues from visiting elite sporting teams and establish a shared community space within the new stadium precinct. This is a magnificent venue and a tribute to everyone involved with the club in the last quarter-century.
We are here today because of them and the significant support of our major project stakeholders, including the Federal Government, Queensland Government, Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund and Townsville City Council, whose vision and commitment matched our passion and drive.
Funding from the Federal Government in the form of an A$15 million grant, announced in March 2019, was a crucial first step in securing the target to deliver the building, reflecting a strong belief in the Centre’s future economic contribution to the community and region.
The Cowboys relocated from Kirwan to their new home beside Ross Creek on building completion from early February, bringing the memories and experiences of 25 years at their former headquarters and home ground with them.
Tenants Dr John Maguire from Townsville Orthopaedics & Sports Surgery and North Queensland Physiotherapy Centre have opened their new premises on the upper level, to be followed by James Cook University.
Hirers including Football Queensland North are also taking advantage of the cutting-edge facilities.
The Cowboys will begin training on the new community training field in coming weeks, with visitors to be invited to relax at Podium Café, run by the Cowboys Leagues Club, while watching the team in action.