The Brisbane Lions have paid tribute to one of the most influential figures in Club history by naming the playing field at the new $75m Brighton Homes Arena after Michael Voss.
The 10,000 capacity Michael Voss Oval will be the home ground for the Lions AFLW premiership matches and AFL pre-season matches and a state-of-the-art training base for the Lions’ AFL and AFLW programs.
The triple premiership skipper and 1996 Brownlow medalist said he was thrilled to have his name associated with the Club’s new headquarters.
Voss is one of just four Legends in the Lions Hall of Fame and although his trophy cabinet ensures he sits comfortably among the all-time greats of the AFL, he said his greatest source of satisfaction was knowing he played a part in the significant growth the code has experienced here in Queensland.
“It is a huge honour and I want to thank the Brisbane Lions and in particular the board for considering me and my name,’’ he said.
“I remember my own personal journey of being a Logan boy who used to get picked up on the freeway for the drive down to the Gold Coast when the Brisbane Bears started and being a Queenslander where there was probably only one or two kids at the whole school who actually played Australian football.
“To see the growth of the game has been significant to me.
“Although I’m fortunate enough to have achieved a few things in my career, if there is something that I am prouder of than anything else it is being an ambassador for our great game and in particular being an ambassador for Queensland football.
“The fact we have growth in the game in Queensland, the fact the Brisbane Lions’ reach is going through the Western Corridor and everything that is going on, to have my name attached to the oval and will be there forever is such a massive honour.’’
Voss has promised to visit the facility the first chance he gets and has apologised in advance if he is tempted to take a memento with him.
“Covid restrictions have restricted my ability to get back to Queensland, but it is a place I still call home and is dear to my heart,’’ he said.
“I will definitely get there in the New year and I hope to have the opportunity to be able to roll past and see the new oval.
“And if you see a piece of grass that’s missing it might be me who’s grabbed just a few blades to take with me.’’
Lions Chairman Andrew Wellington said when it came time to name the oval at Brighton Homes Arena the board were quick to settle on the man who led Brisbane’s first AFL premiership winning side.
“It is fitting that our new Queensland base will honour the name of Michael Voss, who played Australian Rules football as a junior in Queensland before going on to become a triple premiership captain for the Brisbane Lions and one of the greats of the AFL,’’ he said.
“Whether you are an elite player, a junior coming through our academy or a Brisbane Lions supporter, you can't help but be inspired by what Michael Voss achieved for the Brisbane Lions.
“We look forward to more future greats of the AFL, both male and female, developing and demonstrating their skills on Michael Voss Oval.”
The Lions plan to be in the new facility by September next year with the first AFLW premiership match to be played there in late 2022.