The first seat has been installed at the 25,000-capacity North Queensland Stadium, which will open next year in South Townsville.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was on hand for the ceremony, alongside Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni.

The stadium, which will serve as the home of the North Queensland Cowboys NRL rugby league team, is being built at a cost of Aus$290m (£163m/€178m/$195m) and yesterday’s (Monday’s) installation marks a major milestone for the venue.

The project remains on budget and the main stadium build works are now more than 75 per cent complete, with half of the trusses that will make up the roof structure having been installed.

Palaszczuk said: “I can’t wait for the people of North Queensland and visitors to the region to be able to sit here in these seats and enjoy the sporting, cultural and community events that will be hosted in this world-class stadium.

“We said we would build this stadium and that’s what we’re doing, it’s been incredible to watch it rise from the ground into what you see today. It’s infrastructure projects like this, that create jobs and support the local economy and that’s what my government is committed to, not just here in Townsville but right across the state.”

Managing contractor Watpac has appointed Camatic Seating to build the fit-for-purpose seats at North Queensland Stadium. The company has previously supplied similar seating to Australian venues such as the Robina Stadium, Rod Laver Arena and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With a capacity of 25,000, North Queensland Stadium will have 7,000 more seats than 1300SMILES Stadium, the current home of the Cowboys.

Around 75 per cent of the seating will be covered by the roof, while the stadium will be able to accommodate up to 40,000 guests during concerts. An official opening date for the venue has not been set but Elton John is scheduled to perform at the stadium on February 29 as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

Stadiums Queensland is currently seeking a naming-rights sponsor for the venue and recently invited businesses to become North Queensland’s “number one supporter”.

Image: North Queensland Stadium