It sounded like a throwaway line from an emotionally triumphant skipper, but North Queensland are dead serious about wanting a brand new stadium.
Moments after Johnathan Thurston led the Cowboys to an extraordinary inaugural premiership win over Brisbane on Sunday night, chairman Laurence Lancini revealed the club is set to meet with new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss funding for a new showpiece arena.
“We’re meeting with the Prime Minister in Canberra in two weeks time for a new stadium,” Lancini told AAP.
“We’ll certainly be telling him exactly what he needs to do in north Queensland.
“We’re only a regional city, but (Sunday night) just reinforces the fact that north Queensland is a powerhouse in rugby league.”
The Queensland Labor government have already pledged $100 million to fund a new stadium, while the NRL have previously expressed a desire to bring a new precinct to Townsville’s CBD.
All that’s left is for a bit of help from the nation’s capital.
“The state government have done everything they can,” Lancini said.
“Some say stadiums should be built by state governments, and that’s fair enough. But there has been a lot of federal money put into stadiums also.”
Lancini said it wasn’t just about building a new arena.
“It’s about the rebuilding of the whole city centre, its revitalisation and whole urban renewal.
“That is part of what federal governments should be putting funds forward for. We just hope that they come along and help us.”
Asked whether he had budgeted for a statue of their heroic halfback, Lancini said:” JT and the boys deserve a new stadium. We’ll talk about that later once we get that.”
Just last month, the NSW state government announced a $1.6 billion strategy to build three new stadiums in Sydney over the next decade.