Heat concerns ahead of Brisbane’s opening AFLW home game on Sunday have prompted Lions CEO Greg Swann to renew calls for an adequate home base for the women’s team.
Swann said he was concerned for players and fans with temperatures of up to 37 degrees forecast for the Lions’ clash with Western Bulldogs at Brendale, a venue which offers minimal shade.
The Lions boss said the venue was also unsuitable for TV coverage and hoped to renew talks in the coming weeks with the Queensland government to help fund a proposed new $70 million home in Springfield shared by the men’s and women’s teams.
“Brendale is a fantastic facility but 37 degrees is the forecast for Sunday and there is no shade, no grandstands,” Swann told AAP.
“It’s really tough on the girls playing but also the spectators who want to come out and have a look.
“There was a really good impetus last year with the success of the girls and the facilities that needed to be built for them.
“It sort of got lost a little bit but now the season is on us again.”
The Brendale venue, in Brisbane’s north, was considered inadequate to host the 2017 AFLW grand final due to its poor quality broadcast lights.
Brisbane instead hosted the decider on the Gold Coast, going down to Adelaide in their only loss of the debut AFLW season.
The Queensland government is yet to publicly support the Lions’ $15 million funding request to help build a new training and administration facility in Springfield, in Brisbane’s west.
The proposed new base would also allow for the construction of a boutique stadium to host AFLW matches.
“We saw the crowds are back again and we think it is just going to continue to grow,” Swann said of AFLW attendance.
“The government have been on the record and been good with supporting women’s sport in Queensland but I think this is another level again.
“It would be great if they got behind a tailor-made stadium for the girls so we can play at night, play with lights that are good for TV, good facilities for the spectators with shade and seating.”