Brothers Sports Club Bundaberg has regained ownership of its land after a $19.2 million buyback after leasing the property for two decades. The 8.1-hectare property includes the club’s 3850sqm licensed facility, plus multi-sport facilities and an approved 75-room hotel DA.
The land was originally sold in May 2003 to south-east Queensland investors for $2.15 million after the club found itself in financial difficulties. The club buyback was settled on 4 May.
“This is an extremely positive achievement for not only Brothers stakeholders, but also the Bundaberg community,” Steven Straub, President of Brothers Sports Club, said.
“The outstanding support of our 25,000 members is appreciated every day. As a result, we have overcome recent unprecedented restrictions and uncertainty to seal the future of our 11 affiliated sporting clubs and the 75 employees of our licensed club.
“This investment by Brothers puts the land firmly under the control of our region.”
The club said astute planning and decision making by the board and management started three years ago, during the club’s closure due to Covid restrictions, which led to swift improvement in financial performance and a desire to purchase the land became reality.
The remaining 10-year lease at the 25,000-member property was projected to cost a minimum of $16m.
“From purely a financial perspective, it was obvious to prioritise and action the land purchase once negotiation was permitted within our lease,” Ross Dowd, general manager of Brothers Sports Club, said. “Loan repayments versus future minimum rent calculations were equal.
“When we added the benefit of owning an asset and the onflow positives, such as sporting facility grants and having control of our destiny, the investment into our future became a no-brainer.
With the land purchase deal done, the board and management can now focus on future development and investment.
“We had confidence that Brothers would be in a position to purchase the freehold, on which we have played and gathered for 76 years,” said Mr Straub. “For this reason, future planning has commenced for our licensed venue and sporting facilities.
“Our location on the main route to Bundaberg, adjacent to multiple shopping precincts, the airport, and commercial and residential growth areas, makes us an attractive option for development.”