Nine things you can buy with $2 billion that aren’t new sporting stadiums

Simon Douch Roar Guru

By , Simon Douch is a Roar Guru


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    So, Gladys Berejiklian has essentially torn up a plan that would see Allianz Stadium undergo a $150 million rejuvenation, and instead opted to bulldoze it and start from scratch.

    The premier’s new plan for the ‘stadium crisis’ in Sydney has raised the cost by over $600 million to an already eye-watering price tag.

    ANZ Stadium, a ground that averages 40 per cent capacity during sports events will get a makeover worth $1 billion. $360 million will be splashed out at Parramatta for a new Stadium – which is already under construction – and finally, Allianz Stadium gets its own reconstruction, worth around $800 million.

    It’s very much the Oprah of stadium giveaways.

    Over $2 billion of improvements are needed to have Sydney compete for the hosting rights of sporting events because, apparently, it wasn’t already.

    Plenty are saying it’s a rubbish use of $2 billion, so it got me thinking: what else could you buy with all that taxpayer money?

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    (Source: Supplied)

    1. Eight new hospitals
    Back in March 2011, a brand new hospital was officially opened in Orange in Central West NSW at a cost of $250 million. Orange Base Hospital has five operating theatres and two radiotherapy bunkers, it also provides a host of specialist services such as gastroenterology, kidney dialysis and orthopaedics.

    Also operating out of the hospital are the Orange and Region Mental Health and Drug 7 Alcohol Services and the Ronald McDonald House charity which has around 20 accommodation units for the families of sick children.

    2. Four new public holidays
    In a recent study, it was found that two new public holidays in Victoria, including one on AFL grand final parade day, will cost the state about $900 million each year. So how about an extra week off?

    Nothing raises the general morale of the public more than a free day to sit in a park with a six pack or taking a heavy shot to the ribs in a game of touch footy that’s got slightly out of control.

    3. 2000 km of bitumen road
    There is a bit of variation in prices here, but regardless, $2 billion can buy a whole lot of road. Whether in the city, the country or the coast, people always have something to say about the quality of our roads. Traffic jams cause headaches and blood pressure issues, while potholes cause flat tires and significant arguments with the significant other.

    4. 130 new schools
    An average primary school costs around $15 million to build. That’s 130 new education institutions to avoid overcrowding in schools and ensure the next generation has a bright future.

    5. Four giant Lithium batteries
    When the CEO of Tesla Elon Musk announced, via Twitter, that he will help solve the energy crisis and install the biggest battery of its kind in South Australia, most scoffed.

    Well, now the largest lithium battery in the world is finished and providing energy to households across the state, all part of the South Australian government’s $550 million plan to secure its own means of energy production.

    Granted, this is a bit of a cheat, as the real figures of installation have not been released by Tesla, it’s still a nice comparison though.

    6. 4.8 billion chicken nuggets
    Assuming our friends at Maccas and KFC are still running their 24 for $10 deal, that’s plenty of comfort food.

    7. 869,565 Golden Retriever puppies
    Offering similar emotional support that the nuggets do.

    8. Five Lebron Jameses
    The best basketball player in the world currently has a net worth of around $400 million. He is currently in a 3 year, $99,857,127 contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, boasting an annual average salary of $33,285,709 (all US dollars).

    Despite these astronomical figures, Berejiklian could buy him outright, five times over. Sit him out the front of ANZ to boost that 40 per cent average attendance rate.

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry

    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    9. 670,000 flat screen TVs
    Why not sit back to watch your favourite sport in the comfort of your favourite watering hole in front of a 65-inch, ultra high definition flat screen TV? An absolutely unreliable source quotes NSW to having a total 2052 pubs and bars, and with all the stadium money, Berejiklian could buy 326 flat screens per venue.

    Certainly enough for your viewing pleasure.

    Other projects it could go towards

    • Victoria to Tasmania underwater tunnel
    • Brisbane to Syndey to Melbourne bullet train
    • Cryogenically freezing Tim Cahill until next World Cup
    • Claiming Fiji as the seventh state, for rugby purposes
    • Making the Ashes competitive again

    So there are a bunch alternative options to the Sydney stadium rejuvenation plans, each designed to give some kind of benefit to the people of NSW.

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