Final preparations are underway at Cbus Super Stadium ahead of the Gold Coast Titans’ first home game of the season.
A crowd of around 20,000 is expected for the local derby against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday 19 March.
Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said a South East Queensland derby was always a good way to kick off a Gold Coast weekend.
“Footy is back and NRL fans have been counting down the days until the game’s elite hit the paddock,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“An NRL Premiership match is so much more than just a game.
“It brings family and friends together and supports about 600 stadium jobs.
“We expect the Queensland local derby to contribute at least $1 million to our economic recovery, even more when footy fans decide on a luxury weekend away on the Gold Coast.
“It’s because of the great work of Queenslanders in following expert medical advice on COVID that we’re able to kick-off the NRL season.”
Cbus Super Stadium Manager Kristian Blundell said the venue was looking forward to hosting the NRL without the capacity restrictions of last season.
“This will be our first game back without COVID capacity restrictions, and you couldn’t pick a better way to open the season than the South-East Queensland derby, which is always one of our biggest games at Cbus Super Stadium,” Mr Blundell said.
“It’s Queenslander against Queenslander and for the first time in history the Titans won both matches against the Broncos last year, so it’s possibly the start of something special for the club and I hope fans support it with thunderous applause,” he said.
“Of course, we’re encouraging fans to be COVID-Safe and social distance where possible, maintain good hygiene and stay home if unwell, but we know fans are keen to come back and we’re very pleased to have them back.
“We’ve also undertaken some minor renovations to ensure the stadium is ready for the season ahead, including new flooring in the Western stand, some painting around the venue and the securing of nearby car parks to ensure match days run smoothly.”
Grounds Manager Phill Burke said the field had also had a full renovation over the summer.
“We had a busy season with the extended season and extra games resulting from the COVID-19 hubs, so the field certainly had its share of wear and tear and we were looking forward to giving it some TLC,” Mr Burke said.
“At the end of the season we shaved 20mm off the top to remove the upper layer of grass, then cored the field to 150mm to remove the old thatch and oxygenate the roots,” he said.
“We applied 120 tonnes of top-dressing sand which we laser-levelled and also replaced some of the artificial turf on the edges to ensure a nice even surface and with regular irrigation and fertilizing it’s in top condition for season kick-off.”
Gates open at 4:30pm, with kick-off at 7:00pm.
Event information is available at https://cbussuperstadium.com.au/.
Tickets are available via Ticketek.com.au.
Public transport information is available on the TransLink website at www.translink.com.au or contact the call centre on 13 12 30.