Roar CEO speaks out after Cup final ‘shame’ exposes ‘challenge that impacts entire community’

Brisbane Roar CEO Kaz Patafta has urged the Queensland Government to further invest in the state’s stadium infrastructure, or continue to miss out on hosting major sporting events like the 2023 Australia Cup final, set to be staged at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Roar and Sydney FC will meet in the title decider on Saturday, October 7.

FA is aiming for a new record attendance at an Australia Cup final, which currently stands at 18,751 (Melbourne City v Sydney FC in 2016), and explained that Allianz Stadium was “the most suitable venue” for the final, “with Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium unavailable on the weekend of October 7 and October 8, Ballymore Stadium under renovation with a reduced capacity, and Kayo Stadium’s (Redcliffe, QLD) capacity at 10,000.”

In a club statement, Roar CEO Patafta said that the decision “amplifies Brisbane’s need for a secondary rectangular stadium” – not just for the benefit of football, but for multiple sporting codes in the city.

The statement read as follows:

Dear Members and Fans,

I’m reaching out to address Football Australia’s decision to host the Australia Cup final at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, a matter that we all feel strongly about.

It’s been almost a decade since over 51,000 fans celebrated with us at Suncorp Stadium on Orange Sunday number 3 when we secured the A-League grand final victory against the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014. The Australia Cup presented another such opportunity.

However, our current infrastructure challenges have prevented us from hosting this significant event, which is a shame particularly for the Brisbane community. This isn’t just a loss for the club, but our fans and the wider community in that they miss the opportunity for a home Cup Final.

The decision to hold the match in Sydney then amplifies Brisbane’s need for a secondary rectangular stadium – The demand is there and is relevant for multiple codes. This is not just a club issue, but a broader challenge that impacts the entire football and sporting community in Brisbane. Football Australia’s chief executive, James Johnson, has already voiced the urgent need for another rectangular stadium in Brisbane, further highlighting this infrastructural gap.

However, the realisation of such development hinges significantly on government support.

Government funding plays a pivotal role in bridging this infrastructural gap. As we look towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, it’s even more crucial for government authorities to invest in our sporting infrastructure. A city’s sporting facilities not only elevate its profile on the global stage but also serve as a hub for community engagement and cohesion for multiple sporting codes.

We urge both our fan base and the larger community to rally together, advocating for the necessary funding and focus from our government. With collective efforts and the necessary financial backing, we can create a future where Brisbane Roar and its passionate fans have a deserving place to call home.

We cannot have any more missed opportunities for Queensland such as this. Let’s call for change. 

Thank you for your unwavering support and commitment. We remain dedicated to elevating our club and ensuring that your voices are heard.