Brisbane Racing Club Leases, Revitalises Former Stafford Bowls Club Site

Brisbane Racing Club is now leasing the former Stafford Bowls Club site which has been disused since 2016 and now plans to revitalise it into a $7.5-million community hub.

Brisbane City Council has approved the transfer of the lease of the facility at 352 Stafford Road from Crushers Leagues Club to Brisbane Racing Club (BRC).

As part of the deal, BRC proposes to refurbish the premises at a cost of $7.5 million. The upgrades are estimated to be completed before April 2023.

BRC also estimates that restarting operations at the facility will create about 60 new employment opportunities and will provide a revitalised community hub for locals, and the social and sporting club members.

Brisbane Racing Club will also honour the community contributions stated in the lease, providing financial and in-kind support for activities initiated by GibsonPark Committee Inc which manages and improves the facilities at Gibson Park. That would mean BRC will contribute a minimum of $200,00 per year to the local community.

In 2019, Council approved plans by Crusher Leagues Club trading as Brothers Grange Sports and Community Club Council to renovate and extend the facilities at the site. Subsequently, a new 20-year lease to Crushers League Club was also approved by the Council.

Crushers, however, submitted a request on 5 August 2022 to assign the lease to BRC due to Crushers’ being unable to resolve the transfer of previously held licenses to the Stafford premises. The Club’s gambling licence application is still awaiting approval whilst the liquor licence was only approved last year. 

The deal, however, drew criticisms with some councillors expressing concerns over the lack of transparency, lack of community consultation, and that the expression of interest and tendering process was not followed.