Donald Lutz celebrates with teammates and fans. Picture: SMPIMAGES.COM/ABL Media.
Donald Lutz celebrates with teammates and fans. Picture: SMPIMAGES.COM/ABL Media.

Bandits want $10m loot for new hideout

The Brisbane Bandits will press the State Government for at least $10 million in funding for a new stadium in Salisbury after securing land and a $5 million contribution from the Brisbane City Council.

Bandits owner and CEO Mark Ready said the State Government would be asked for investment for a two-field facility, which would also be offered as a new southside home for softball.

The Salisbury facility would be the ABL home ground for the Bandits, who won a fourth straight Claxton Shield on Saturday, and would have at least 4500 spectator seats, Ready said.

"The Council has put aside some land at Salisbury and $5 million to begin the funding,'' he said.

"It's a reality. It's a matter of getting the State Government on board.

"We are calling on the State Government now to help us to realise a dream to have a state and national facility that can bring all the big Asian teams into Brisbane, with the tourism from southeast Asia.

"Whether they give us $10 million, $15 million or $20 million, we can build a stadium, but we'd like a 4500-seat stadium with the ability to add another 3000 seats.''

Sports minister Mick di Brenni wore a Bandits shirt and cap at the official presentations on Saturday night and also threw the first pitch as a guest in a previous game.

The Australian Baseball League transferred to a private ownership model in the recent season and the Bandits have associations with a Chinese Taipei professional club and other businesses in that country.

 

Mick de Brenni throws the first pitch. Picture: SMPIMAGES.COM/ABL Media
Mick de Brenni throws the first pitch. Picture: SMPIMAGES.COM/ABL Media

 

A near-capacity crowd of 2304, some standing up to 10 deep along the right field fence, attended the deciding game of the ABL finals on Saturday night at Newmarket.

The traditional home for baseball in Brisbane, Holloway Field, does not have avenues of potential for spectator growth in ABL seasons to come, hemmed in by Newmarket suburbia and Brisbane City's soccer ground.

Salisbury is 9km south of the Brisbane CBD, while the sport's main facility in Newmarket is in the city's inner-north.

Two years ago, Ready identified the Wilston-Grange Australian football ground as a new home base with shared investment with the AFL, but the proposal did not go ahead.

A Salisbury venue would have two diamonds, one of which could be used by softball and T-ball teams, Ready said.