TOUCH FUTURE: New venue scouted for 2020 Junior Cup
With those words, Queensland Touch CEO Ben Mannion knew the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct was the place where the future of the Junior State Touch Cup would unfold.
The sporting body had previously announced future events would be held at the Nikenbah complex from next year, off the back of capacity issues at the current Tavistock St sport complex, but had never been able to see its development first-hand.
Mr Mannion inspected the precinct fields yesterday ahead of today's games, confirming it was the place to be for next year's competition.
"We think it's fantastic, we look forward to coming out here next year," Mr Mannion said.
"Next year... is our 10th year of being in Hervey Bay, so it makes sense to look to expand to the next level.
"By coming out to a facility like this it allows us to play into the night, look at our draw and bring in other teams from around the state."
Mr Mannion said the organisation had ended up knocking back teams wanting to play in the carnival due to the limited space available.
He said by moving to the Sports Precinct, mixed teams could be added to the event.
"The joy of touch football is boys, girls, men's, women's and mixed competitions ... we can always look to expand that particular part of the competition and bring more people into the area," he said.
The Fraser Coast holds the rights to host the Touch Cup until 2022.
The lucrative economic event, which attracts thousands of people and pumps up to $4 million into the local economy every year, has become one of the region's biggest annual sport events.
Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour said the move to the Sports Precinct would untap the potential for the organisation to host more than 233 teams.
"It's fantastic to see so many visitors here," Cr Seymour said.
"They have a great time here: beautiful climate, great time of the year to visit, people can go whale watching, to the beach ... they all go back and tell their friends.
"By moving it out here next year, we'll be able to have more visitors and teams."
Cr Seymour said the council would work with the State Government "to expand the Sports Precinct" and accommodate increased numbers.