Construction is expected to be completed in time for North Queensland's 2020 NRL season.

Acting Premier and Cowboys member Curtis Pitt said the stadium was a "symbol of hope" for the Townsville community.

"This stadium is a critical piece of infrastructure and it's going to be a big jobs generator," Mr Pitt said.

"People will be able to experience the game in state-of-the-art facilities.”

Pitt said he was disappointed local contractors had not expressed more interest in being involved in the project.