Family Footy Festival ignites debate on second NRL team

Scott Blaney - QLD State Sales Manage r being interviewed by Fox Sports.
Scott Blaney - QLD State Sales Manage r being interviewed by Fox Sports.

SEKISUI House teamed up with the Ipswich Jets to host the first Family Footy Festival at its Ecco Ripley development on April 9, which met an overwhelming show of support from local residents from Ipswich, Logan and also greater Brisbane.

More than 150 children pounced on the opportunity to develop their rugby league skills while a further 1200 local residents were involved on the day, sparking calls from sporting identities and city leaders for a second Brisbane NRL team based in Ipswich.

Brisbane Broncos forward Sam Thaiday showed his support on the day through a meet and greet.

"The more kids we can get in this area playing rugby league, the better it's going to be for the Bronco's going forward, and if they do expand and put another team out here, it will be great," Mr Thaiday said.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said another NRL team is simply a no brainer.

"I've had the AFL knocking on my door, I've had the soccer knocking on my door, everyone is knocking on my door but missing in action is rugby league," Cr Pisasale said.

"All the planets have lined up for rugby league - where are you!"

Ipswich Jets CEO Jason Cubit stressed the growth of the region.

"This area is probably what western Sydney was 15 years ago and you consider that western Sydney has four NRL teams and this area has none," Mr Cubit said.

"The western corridor is the place to be, it's the growth corridor of certainly Brisbane and greater Queensland," said Scott Blaney, the Queensland state sales manager of Sekisui House.

Steven Johnson, Western Corridor Bid Chairman, couldn't agree more and doesn't know why the demand for another team is being overlooked.

"Another team will bring bigger crowds, more television dollars, more corporate dollars - I can't understand why we are being ignored," he said.

Ecco Ripley's Family Footy Festival attracted national media coverage on FOX Sports as residents gathered together to encourage and inspire the next generation of sporting achievers.

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