The draw for the 2015-16 A-League season was released today by the FFA, with Brisbane drawn to start the season on the road against Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday, October 8th at Parramatta Stadium.
The clubs first home game is down for the following Sunday -October 18- against Central Coast Mariners, while the Roar conclude the season with a trip to last season’s double winner, Melbourne Victory. Here’s a few take away’s from the draw.
– Brisbane will play two home games this season against Adelaide, Central Coast, Melbourne City, Newcastle and Perth, while Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, and Western Sydney Wanderers only make the trip to Brisbane once.
– In terms of away travel, Brisbane will make four trips to Sydney this season and three to Melbourne. They’ll also travel twice to Wellington, and once each to Adelaide, Central Coast, Newcastle and Perth. The Sydney trips will see the Roar face both sides from the harbour city twice, while they’ll travel twice to the Victorian capital to face the Victory, and once to face City.
– There will also be a regional game, to be held on Saturday, December 12 against Wellington Phoenix at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns- the first time Brisbane has held a regional home game in the north of the state. Cairns beat Townsville and Gold Coast to host the clubs bi-annual extra home game.
– Brisbane’s round 27 game against Melbourne Victory, which is provisionally set down for Saturday April 9, could yet be moved if there is a clash with the Victory’s ACL commitments.
– One of the downsides of the draw this year is the lack of glamour home ties, with high drawing Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC only playing in Brisbane once this year. To compound that, both aren’t scheduled to visit until 2016, at which point the public interest in those games -and the Roar- could be gone.
– From the players perspective, it’s not a bad one with just the one trip to the West for the season, while nine of the clubs thirteen away games are in NSW or Victoria, so the travel time figures to be lower than last year.
– This season’s farcical scenes which saw the Grand Final hosted at the 30k seater AAMI Park wont be repeated, with the FFA securing venues in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Wellington to host the final should those teams gain hosting rights.
While the draw takes the attention today, there was conformation of some much expected news yesterday, with the Queensland Government announcing their intention to lift the current restrictions on concerts at the Milton venue.
A media statement from Sports and Racing minister Bill Byrne, and Treasurer Curtis Pitt confirmed that the restrictions would go from four concerts a year up to six, with the changes set to be implemented from 2016 onwards. You can read the full statement here.
The changes have been made so that the state owned stadium can attract more high profile music acts after the Milton venue missed out on ACDC, with QSAC picking up the concerts after the venue had exhausted it’s limit of four concerts in 2015.
This upcoming A-League season will see Brisbane’s home ruled out of action for around a month with Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift set to play at the venue on November 28 and December 5 respectively.
Brisbane’s fixtures around the concert time will include Newcastle away (Nov 28), Western Sydney away (Dec 5), Wellington home* (Dec 12) and Central Coast Dec 20th. Brisbane’s first home game at Suncorp after the concerts is set down for Dec 27th against Melbourne City meaning the ground staff will have over 3 weeks to get the ground right after the concerts.
*The home game against Wellington is a regional round game to be held at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns.