New $12m facility to boost Storm's NRLW bid

Melbourne Storm's plans for an NRLW team are closer to reality with the construction of a $12 million centre of excellence at Broadmeadows.

Details of the new home for rugby league in Victoria were announced on Wednesday and the development has been slated as the home for a future Storm team in the NRLW competition.

The NRL is seeking formal expressions of interest from clubs wanting to join an expanded NRLW and Melbourne officials are considering a bid.

The Storm were keen on entering a team in last year's inaugural NRLW competition but did not have the facilities as AAMI Park is shared with other sporting clubs, including Melbourne Rebels (rugby union) and Melbourne Victory.

However, the centre of excellence at Broadmeadows will include a main playing field with a 2500sqm pavilion and three community access fields, as well as administrative headquarters for NRL Victoria and Touch Football Victoria.

Geographical spread was a key factor in determining which clubs received the first NRLW licences and the NRL is expected to look favourably at areas such as Melbourne, Newcastle, Queensland and western Sydney when the competition is expanded.

Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said the new facility would deliver programs ranging from grassroots to elite for both men and women, significantly enhancing the chances of creating more homegrown stars.

"Storm is proud to be part of such a fantastic partnership," he said.

"We have seen great growth across the board for Melbourne Storm and NRL Victoria in recent years and a project like this one is going to further add to the growth of the game, as well as being an exciting new asset for the Broadmeadows community."

NRL Victoria general manager Brent Silva said: "This facility at Seabrook Reserve will not only be a home and facility for everyone in the rugby league community to benefit from, it will also be an exciting feature and facility for use by the local community.

"This centre will allow us to develop and nurture talented young men and women, boys and girls to follow their sporting dreams and also assist us deliver community programs on this site."

The Victorian Government has allocated $12 million to the rugby league state training and community centre, which is part of Hume City Council's master plan to revamp Seabrook Reserve.