REDS SEAL STADIUM DEAL

The Bank of Queensland Reds will take on New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium on May 8.

Queensland Rugby finalised a hiring agreement today and hope the move will see Brisbane set an attendance record for a Super 12 match in Australia.

The current record is 41,645 when the ACT Brumbies played the Waratahs in Sydney in 2002.

The match is the Reds’ last before the Super 12 finals and is likely to be crucial to the semi-final prospects of both sides.

Chief Executive Theo Psaros said Rugby crowds had already given the stadium a giant ‘thumbs-up’ by filling the stadium throughout last year’s World Cup.

“This match is the biggest of the Reds season and is too big for Ballymore with its present capacity.

“New South Wales has never beaten Queensland in Super 12 competition, and this will give as many Queenslanders as possible the chance to cheer the Reds to another win,” he said.

At this stage the arrangement is for this match only. Mr Psaros said the response from the Queensland public will have a large bearing on whether future Reds matches are played at the stadium.

Mr Psaros thanked the Reds’ principal naming rights sponsor Bank of Queensland for supporting the move and helping Queensland Rugby work through issues created by Suncorp’s sponsorship of the stadium.

The Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Sport, Mr Terry Mackenroth, welcomed the announcement.

“For the fans, it means watching one of the most anticipated rugby games of the year in the best venue in the world, complete with its wonderful atmosphere, unrivalled comfort and facilities and superb views of the action on the field,” Mr Mackenroth said.

“I encourage all Queenslanders to get behind the Reds and cheer them to victory over the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on May 8.”

Reds captain Elton Flatley said the team would train at the venue in the lead-up to the match, and the big crowd would ensure the Reds maintained their home ground advantage.

“World Cup matches here were sensational, and it will be great to have a sea of red here when we take on the Waratahs,” he said.

Tickets will go on sale at Ticketmaster 7 on April 5, with prices for adults ranging from $22 to $55.