The 12,200 capacity stadium was funded by the Australian Government at a cost of 11.3 million and opened on 20 August 2011 at a Mackay Cutters home game. The stadium consist of a western grandstand that can accommodate 2,000 people including 10 corporate boxes, 6 corporate suites and broadcast box. 2.5 million of the total 11.3 million cost of the stadium was spent on installing lighting that is of NRL and television standard so that the stadium could possible host regular season NRL matches. On 18 August 2011, it was announced that the new ground would be renamed to Virgin Australia Stadium after airline Virgin Australia purchased the naming rights to the stadium. 
On Sunday 24 June 2012, Virgin Australia Stadium hosted its first NRL game when the 2nd placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs played a 'home' game at the venue against the ladder leading Melbourne Storm in Round 16 of the 2012 NRL season, the NRL's Women in League Round. In front of a ground record crowd of 11,876 the Bulldogs defeated the Storm 20-4 with Mackay product Ben Barba setting up one of the tries of the season for Bulldogs team mate Josh Morris. Barba fielded a Storm kick only one metre from the dead ball line, then evaded his opposition and ran 70 metres down field before centre kicking for Morris to score next to the posts for what was a 109 metre try.