Politician in a league of his own
A STAND inside Suncorp Stadium is set to be named after former Queensland deputy premier and rugby league tragic the late Terry Mackenroth, in a first for the venue.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has moved to name the Lang Park eastern grandstand after her former mentor who passed away earlier this in April, in a controversial move that has sparked debate over whether a sportsperson should be the first to have this honour.
Mr Mackenroth, a politician of 28 years, is widely acknowledged as the driver behind the redevelopment of Lang Park, through his role as sports minister, which saw it converted to a world-class facility in 2003.
He also served as Queensland Rugby League Director and was a former director of the Australian Rugby League.
It would be the first time any grandstand inside the stadium had been named.
The honour has touched his family with his wife Mary saying Mr Mackenroth would have been humbled by the move.
"It was always his vision to create the world's best stadium for rectangular sport and ensure that every seat had a clear view of the ground," Mrs Mackenroth said.
Should a stand at Suncorp Stadium be named for politician Terry Mackenroth before a sporting legend?
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But it has been questioned by the Opposition with LNP Leader Deb Frecklington querying whether the accolade would have been better off given to a Queensland sporting icon instead.
It is the first stand to be officially named at the stadium.
Ms Palaszczuk said Queenslanders would not be able to enjoy the stadium today if it wasn't for Mr Mackenroth.
"He was not only the driving force behind the $280 million redevelopment, Terry made sure the signature rebuild was finished on time and on budget," she said.
Mr Mackenroth's love for Queensland rugby league shone through at his funeral with Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, past and current CEO's Bruno Cullen and Paul White attending along with Wally Lewis and Steve Renouf.
The Broncos held a minute's silence for Mr Mackenroth during their game against the Bulldogs in May.
Ms Frecklington, however, said Mr Mackenroth had already been recognised for his role in sport with the new Terry Mackenroth Community Gymnasium in Carina.
"Lang Park is one of the most iconic and historical grounds in Australia that some of Queensland's most distinguished sports people have graced," she said.
"Surely, one of its major grandstands would be better served being named after a sportsperson than a former politician."
Naming a stadium after a non-sportsman like a politician is unusual but it has happened interstate and overseas.
Canberra's Manuka Oval, which plays host to the annual Prime Minister's XI cricket match and a handful of AFL matches has grandstands named after former Prime Minister's Robert Menzies and Bob Hawke.