|Redcliffe Dolphins (Queensland Cup)|
The Dolphin Oval, based on the corner of Ashmole and Klingner Roads in Kippa-Ring, north of Brisbane, is the home ground for the Redcliffe Dolphins rugby league football club, who play in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup.
The ground regularly hosts pre-season NRL trials, and hosted the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Queensland Cup Grand Finals.
The creation of the Dolphin Oval began when the Redcliffe City Council made re-claimed land available for sporting fields in the 1970s. The Redcliffe Dolphins, who at the time were based at the Redcliffe Showgrounds, showed immediate interest and applied for the maximum area available. Redcliffe City Council engineer Kevin Tibbets took to the construction of the ground with the utmost enthusiasm, with the football club even hosting a trip interstate for him to study playing arenas in New South Wales.
The transition from the Redcliffe Showgrounds to Dolphin Oval presented some major problems. Due to the isolation of the area at the time of construction, normal services were not readily available and therefore had to be brought in. Due to the gravity flow to Klingner Road, expensive sewerage pumps had to be brought in, power for the floodlights had to go underground to the main oval and the run-through tunnel was transhipped from Western Australia at a cost of $9,000, which was still cheaper than buying one from the Eastern states.
The lighting at the showgrounds was far superior, but the Redcliffe Rugby League Old Boys, led by Neil Okamura, contributed a $5,000 loan, which was later turned into a grant, for suitable floodlighting. They also constructed a perimeter playing fence around the main oval at a cost of $2,780. In return, the football club provided the Old Boys with a solid can-booth at the northern end of the complex and were granted the rights to sell liquor on a commission basis.
The pressure to build a licensed club at Dolphin Oval was met with a great deal of caution, especially when the existing club at the Showgrounds was still profitable. But within 12 months after the sod-turning ceremony, the new clubhouse was opened by the Mayor of Redcliffe, Ald. Alf Charlish. With the help of the Federal Member for Petrie, Dean Wells, and his Government's contribution through their C.E.P. Funding, along with the football club's own financial arrangements with the Commonwealth Bank, the move was made possible.
However the heavily publicised and enforced "Don't Drink and Drive" policy by the Government struck the thriving bar trade, and, according to From Shellgrit to Dolphins, a book on the History of the Redcliffe Dolphins, says: "Suffice to say the club only barely kept its doors open and its creditors at bay until the advent of poker machines in 1992, but proudly was able to meet its financial commitments"
In January 1979, the committee proposed to name the complex the Don McLennan Oval, but Mr McLennan requested that it be called Dolphin Oval.
Fittingly, the first game at Dolphin Oval was between Redcliffe and Norths, the club that originally proposed Redcliffe's admission into the BRL. The original lease was acquired to 1998 and later extended to 2008, before the Redcliffe Dolphins bought the land.
- McLennan, Don, From Shellgrit to Dolphins: A History of the Redcliffe District Rugby League Football Club, 1995, Peninsula Printers.