The Sydney Derby is a sight to behold. The first encounter in the current A-League season was the most electric crowd atmosphere I have ever witnessed.
With one half of Allianz Stadium decked in blue and the other in red, it was every Australian football purist’s dream.
40,000 people packed into Allianz Stadium to see who would take home the three points.
That’s big news for the fans, league administrators, TV executives and excitingly big news for the bean counters regarding gate takings.
So how do you improve on the amazing, almost perfect, situation we now have?
You move the biggest game of the year in Sydney to the biggest stadium in Sydney.
Notice how I said “game”, as in singular.
Every time a derby approaches there are sections of football fans who miss out on tickets to the match.
They demand the most logical thing, moving the game to Stadium Australia.
I for one love seeing attendance figures above 50,000 for our league but I have to agree with the fans at Western Sydney, who argue that moving the games away from the home stadium destroys the essence of a club.
However, the A-League is set up in such a way that you can move one of the Sydney derbies to Stadium Australia each year.
Currently there are 3 derbies a season.
I believe the solution that serves everybody nicely is to move the third derby of the season to Stadium Australia.
Both teams still get one “true home” derby at their stadium every season, so that situation is still maintained.
All you have to is to keep rotating who gets the second “home” derby every year and host it at Stadium Australia.
Make a huge event of it, and that year the “home” team gets all the gate takings.
The next year it is the other team’s turn to host the derby at Stadium Australia, and they get the takings.
Fans worried about losing their home stadium derby still get one of those, and fans who complain about missing out on seats to the derby now have 80,000 chances to get a ticket.
Heck, even forge a trophy and make it an annual prize to win.
Come on David Gallop, make a statement to the sporting world and build the Sydney Derby global showpiece by hosting an annual game at Stadium Australia.