Godfather endorses Titans relocation
He was one of the driving forces behind the Gold Coast once again being represented in Australia's premier rugby league competition and now Paul Broughton has fully endorsed the Titans' move to a base in Coomera in 2016.
The Titans will officially sever ties with the ill-fated Centre of Excellence when their lease expires on November 1 and will spend the next 12 months training at The Southport School while the club's administration will operate out of the Gold Coast City Council Chambers in Bundall.
Over the next 12 months construction will take place on a purpose-built training and administration complex at Coomera at the northern end of the Gold Coast with the club to continue to play its home games out of Cbus Super Stadium at Robina.
The annual rent of $800,000 spent at the current Robina headquarters was crippling the club's finances with the new arrangement at Coomera seeing the NRL enter in to a 20-year community lease of the land from the Gold Coast Council on behalf of the Titans and club benefactor Darryl Kelly paying for the construction of the new Titans HQ.
Speaking prior to the awarding of the Paul Broughton Medal to Beau Falloon as the Titans' best and fairest for 2014 on Wednesday night, Broughton spoke glowingly of the connection the new base would give the club to the northern end of the Gold Coast, one of the region's fastest growing areas, a connection he lamented wasn't made in the club's early existence.
It's a relocation of the club's operations that they have been working with the NRL and Gold Coast City Council on since March and which NRL CEO Dave Smith says solidifies the Titans' future in the NRL.
"There has been a lot of speculation about what we may or may not do with the club but it's all been speculation, none of it has been at all centred around any plans that we as a game have for the Titans," Smith said.
"The Gold Coast is a key market for us, it's a very important part of rugby league's fabric and it will remain an important part of rugby league's fabric. The context of this is that we are supporting a club doing the right thing with good leadership from the board and we're going to end up with a facility that is going to be one of the best facilities in a fantastic location that is a sporting precinct.
"The deal makes incredible sense commercially, the way the business is now being led, the governance around the board with Rebecca's leadership and Darryl's support, the deal makes incredible commercial sense. It's a good consolidation play, it's very good for the Titans.
"I don't know about the history [of the Centre of Excellence] particularly but it seems to me that this has been well thought through, is well supported, is well integrated across all the different parties and projects like this have got a much greater degree of success if they're set up that way."
In addition to relieving significant financial pressures imposed by the hefty rent bill each month, Titans CEO Graham Annesley said it was an opportunity for the club to once again take control of its surroundings.
"In the past the problems with the Centre of Excellence have been well documented. We no longer control or own the building, we've been renting there for the past two years so this is an opportunity for us to obtain purpose-built facilities that the club will control and own," Annesley said.
"We're not building a five or six-storey tower, we're building a purpose-built training and administration centre and the cost of that will be very tightly controlled in terms of construction and we expect that it will be exactly what we need for our long term future.
"We've got to try and grow our revenues as much as possible and keep downward pressure on our costs. This will allow us to continue to do that but it's also going to provide us with a footprint in one of the fastest growing areas of the Gold Coast."