The Brisbane Firehawks are formally in the race to become the NRL’s fourth Queensland club.
Backed by Easts Tigers, the Firehawks announced on Monday they will submit an expression of interest in the NRL’s expansion bid.
While the NRL insists adding a new team to the competition by 2023 is far from a foregone conclusion, any expansion is expected to be confirmed by July to give the new club 18 months to set up and enter the player market.
The Firehawks will be up against rival bids from Redcliffe and a combined Ipswich Jets-Brisbane Bombers consortium.
“We believe our bid will stand out as we are blazing a new path for sports teams in the Australian market,” said Brent Richardson, chief executive of Rich Digital, a sports consultancy firm handed the reins of the Firehawks’ bid.
“Everything we do will be about entertainment, the fan-centric experience backed by sustainable infrastructure.”
As part of the Firehawks’ bid, the club have proposed to operate from a $7.5 million community centre of excellence with construction to commence in October.
The Firehawks and Jets are expected to play their home matches exclusively at Suncorp Stadium with the Dolphins to play a handful of games in Redcliffe and the remainder at Suncorp.