August 2023: In the semi-final of the World Cup, the Matildas are defeated by England. Five days later, the keys to the city are presented to the team by Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, while Annastacia Palaszczuk, the then Premier of Queensland, promises to erect a statue in their honor. This moment paves the way for a legacy.
October 2023: Brisbane Roar reaches its first-ever Australia Cup final. Despite Football Australia’s desire to hold the match in Brisbane’s 52,000 capacity Suncorp Stadium, the venue is undergoing maintenance and is unavailable. As a result, the final takes place in Sydney and the Roar loses 3-1, impacting its legacy.
November 2023: A double-header is played by the Brisbane Roar in their first-ever Indigenous round. However, the pitch had been damaged by a series of concerts held before the game, leading to criticism from the Association of Professional Footballers Australia the next day.
Despite these events, there is still hope to salvage a legacy for football in Queensland, especially in Brisbane. The Fund Football Fairly Campaign seeks to address this by advocating for the development of Perry Park as a home for football in the region. Perry Park, which has been used for football since 1967, holds potential to become a premier football ground. Despite its current state of disrepair, with the right investment, it could serve as a home for multiple clubs, including the Brisbane Strikers and Brisbane United.
Additionally, investing in Perry Park could alleviate fixture congestion at Suncorp Stadium, which currently hosts multiple sporting events and concerts, impacting the condition of the pitch. While Ballymore has been suggested as an alternative venue, it faces its own set of challenges, including poor public transport access and pitch issues.
Investing in Perry Park and making it a home for football could provide numerous benefits for the sport and the community, addressing the needs of multiple clubs and helping to revitalize the area around Bowen Hills.