Brisbane Roar fans disappointed with Asian Champions League switch

"It's just a huge inconvenience," said Den member Matt Robins about the decision to move all three games from Suncorp Stadium to the Gold Coast. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
"It's just a huge inconvenience," said Den member Matt Robins about the decision to move all three games from Suncorp Stadium to the Gold Coast. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
Many fans are expected to miss the Asian Champions League matches due to the change of location.

Many fans are expected to miss the Asian Champions League matches due to the change of location.

Brisbane Roar fans are disappointed with the decision to play its three Asian Champions League group matches on the Gold Coast.

Brisbane will take on a qualifier from either China, Thailand or Malaysia on Wednesday February 25, before a clash with Korean side Suwon Bluewings on March 17 and a May 5 match against Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds.

With Suncorp Stadium unavailable because of a Foo Fighters concert and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regulations stipulating that all home games be held at the one venue, the Roar have had to relocate all three matches.

Matt Robins, a member of Roar supporter group the Den, is one who won't be able to make the matches now they have been shifted and said it was a frustrating decision.

"It's just a huge inconvenience," he said.

Robins said it also robbed supporters of an opportuntiy to see some Asian powerhouses, and their fans, in action.

"The Red Diamonds... they've got such a huge reputation in Asia, so to see them play here would not only would be a benefit for the club but also the fans to experience what their fans are like," he said.

Robins said it would be strange having the side compete at the home ground of one of the Roar's former rivals, the now defunct Gold Coast United.

"It's just a shame that it feels like it's being taken away from where we're meant to play to somewhere where a rival club used to play, it just doesn't feel right."

That side, owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer, averaged crowds of 3,939 at their home stadium during their three seasons in the A-League.

Another Den member, James Price, will still be heading down to the matches but said it would be strange to see his side in a home match away from Suncorp Stadium.

"I think most people that knew about the conflict with the concert would understand one match being moved, but all three is where people are most upset about," he said.

"Many people are certainly upset about it. For me personally, I'll still go but I'm pretty dedicated.

"I think many others will give it a miss."

Price did acknowledge the upside for the Gold Coast, which expects to receive a windfall from international visitors to the matches.

Gold Coast mayor, Tom Tate, estimated the Roar would attract more spectators than the previous tenants.

"Each game is expected to attract 3,000 international supporters and 5,000 local supporters, while the television coverage will reach 25 million per match," he said.

Brisbane Roar general manager Sean Dobson said the shift was the start of a broader partnership with the Gold Coast, which could include pre-season matches and training camps in the future.

Brisbane has played two home games on the Gold Coast in the past, both in 2011 and both wins.

The Brisbane Roar and the Gold Coast Council have joined forces to offer reduced ticket prices and free public transport for Brisbane-based fans to the matches.

This story Brisbane Roar fans disappointed with Asian Champions League switch first appeared on Brisbane Times.