With just the field missing, the new North Queensland Stadium is almost ready for its opening events. First a community event, then an Elton John concert and finally some rugby league. All of that coming in February and March.
Though the below video fly-through is from November and shows quite some work left, you can rest assured that Townsville's new stadium is structurally complete by now. With sound and lighting systems already tested and all 25,000 seats installed already, the biggest piece missing is the playing field.
Following December's signing of its naming rights deal, the stadium is now officially named Queensland Country Bank Stadium and will remain that way for 6 years. It will welcome citizens first during a community event on February 22. And rightly so, after all it is the taxpayers who foot the bill. As confirmed by minister for public works Mick de Brenni, the stadium costs $295 million (US$ 204m), signficant uptick from the initial estimate of 250 million back in 2017.
A week after the community event the first concert is coming to the stadium as Elton John will perform at QCB Stadium on February 29. Then on March 13 it's finally time for sports with National Rugby League's North Queensland Cowboys facing Brisbane Broncos.
The Townsville stadium is distinctive for its semi-open form, providing a large window towards the city centre behind the north goal. The undulating roof, which shades some 75% of spectators, is designed to mimic the leaf of a pandanus tree.
The 25,000 seats includes 88 external corporate boxes, 17 suites, one premium club and 3 bars/lounges. Everyday fans will make use of 40 permanent kiosks (initially 29 planned) and additional ones set up for specific events. For concerts the stadium capacity can reach 40,000, while an option for expansion of permanent seating to 30,000 has been included in the design.