The group with the ambition to drive a new Gold coast club into the A-League is filling me with joy.
Sports Gold Coast are pushing for a new 5000-seat stadium to be built specifically for the new team, which is an ambition that any team wishing to join the A-League should follow.
Australia really has our stadium conceptions out of wack for football teams. The belief that any national competition has to be played in billion-dollar stadiums with free WiFi and huge TVs is outrageous.
The ultimate goal for A-League teams should be to own their stadium, and the present concept makes this borderline impossible.
Stadiums should be cosy and a physical representation of their team. The Roar playing out of Suncorp is ludicrous – the stadium is too big, too expensive, and the pitch is destroyed by the rugby that is all too often played there.
The same goes with the SFS and AAMI park.
I look to the English lower leagues for inspiration. They offer what is suitable for the A-League, fully enclosed stadiums with appropriate seating.
Rotherman United’s ‘New York stadium’ offers all that an A-League club needs – a 12,000, all-seating facility, with construction only costing 20 million euros in 2012.
If any A-League clubs, current or future, are serious about owning their own stadium, that’s the model to follow: a fully-enclosed arena that does not cost hundreds of millions.
I dream of one day walking into a boutique, sold out, private A-League ground. I hope that day will be soon.