Titans home in on new ground
THE Titans have sounded out Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium as a potential home ground in the strongest sign yet the Gold Coast could quit Cbus Super Stadium.
Titans powerbrokers were spotted touring Dolphin Stadium on Monday to inspect the venue's $15 million upgrade.
The Titans are yet to reach an agreement with Stadiums Queensland to play their next home match against South Sydney at Robina on June 8.
And the Gold Coast is seriously considering hosting its lucrative Round 17 derby against the Broncos at the boutique Redcliffe venue on July 8.
The Titans have been embroiled in a three-year stoush with the State Government over hiring fees which sees the club pay about $110,000 to play each home game.
Sources spotted Titans CEO Graham Annesley, executive chairman Dennis Watt and co-owner Darryl Kelly visiting the Intrust Super Cup club's home ground on Monday.
Annesley confirmed the visit when contacted.
"We've said all along that Cbus Stadium is our home ground and it is where we want to play," Annesley said.
"But we have to keep all of our options open in case we can't reach an agreement with the government to hire the stadium on reasonable commercial terms comparable to market rates for other interstate venues.
"We've had discussions with a number of potential alternative venues should it come to that and Dolphin Stadium is definitely a strong contender.
"It is about to complete a major upgrade that would see work completed to coincide with our scheduled home game against the Broncos."
The spat between the Titans and Stadiums Queensland has threatened to turn ugly on numerous occasions.
In 2015, the Titans were hours away from transferring a Broncos derby to ANZ Stadium in Sydney after growing increasingly frustrated with hiring costs.
Now under private ownership, the Titans have reignited negotiations in the hope of securing a discount which would take their annual hiring fees down from $1.3 million to around $800,000.
Hosting a match at the 10,000-seat capacity Dolphin Stadium would cost a fraction of the price to hire Cbus.
The Titans have been somewhat hamstrung given Cbus is the only genuinely suitable NRL venue on the Gold Coast, but Annesley implored fans to support the club's quest for a better deal.
"(Dolphin Stadium) is only just over an hour from the Gold Coast by road and has ample parking for patrons, something that is sadly lacking at Cbus," he said.
"If we are left with no option but to relocate, I'd appeal to our members and fans to get behind us and support our fight for a fairer hiring agreement at Cbus.
"It is aimed at ensuring we can inject more funds into our football department to make the club more competitive on the field."