To stay competitive in the sporting landscape, Adelaide needs to step up its game, by building a state of the art rectangular stadium that can rival the best in the world.
Hindmarsh stadium, even back in the old Super League days was small. Now it hosts Adelaide United and is regularly sold out.
It’s simply not good enough to be propping up the “house full” sign on the back of 14,000 people.
South Australians deserve a world-class rectangular stadium that is purpose built for the modern era. A retractable roof is a must, as well as stadium Wi-fi, oversized replay screens, built-in cup holders to seats, and all the various modern corporate boxes that pay the bills.
For the die-hard fans, a mix of seating in the upper tier and standing in the lower tier behind the goals is necessary, so active supporters who don’t use seats anyway can stand and dance until their hearts are content. There are plenty of methods that can be employed to make sure only a set number of people are in the area without taking away the atmosphere that the people want.
It’s important that the stadium is built central to Adelaide. Without having a ‘local’s knowledge’ of the area, there would likely be some real estate near Adelaide Oval that could be used. The local council will say no, but it’s my stadium idea, so roll with it. Moving away from Hindmarsh to a central area means services that are used in winter for the AFL can be used in summer for A-League and cricket.
A bonus of building a major stadium is it can be used to attract events to a more intimate smaller stadium that still seats 48,000. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to have a WWE pay-per-view event based out of a rectangular stadium that has all the modern shiny things.
There is also the chance to take Wallabies and Kangaroos games to Adelaide and to try to build a support base for the respective codes. Or it could benefit tourism, as rugby seems to be a wasteland in South Australia. Taking the game to Adelaide would generate tourism cash from east coast fans that follow the respective teams.
The A-League would be the major anchor tenant for a new stadium and with 48,000 capacity, fans wouldn’t be turned away. A lot of that capacity would likely not get used every week, but if Adelaide can get on another run like last season and were to meet Melbourne Victory in the final in Adelaide, the place would sell out and would provide an amazing atmosphere.
Of course, my dream stadium does have a few problems.
No winter tenant is an issue, as the major inner city stadiums on the east coast all are sustained by rugby teams. The domestic union competition looks more likely to reduce teams than add them, and the NRL doesn’t even bother bringing the occasional game to Adelaide anymore. It’s something that probably knocks the dream on its head.
The other problem I alluded to earlier, is the Adelaide city council and state government. Locals and expats like me know, anything that changes the status-quo, is unlikely to be seen favourably.
The Adelaide parklands are beautiful. And for the couple of hundred people that walk their dogs and exercise there, it will be kept that way. It would mean the stadium might only get approval in Hindmarsh if the old one gets knocked down, or more likely, that it would be situated outside the CBD.
Somehow I don’t think the tourism dollars will extend to a multi-million dollar stadium based in Elizabeth.
But, the great thing about writing for The Roar, is the ability to start with an idea and promote discussion. Adelaide will keep chugging along with Hindmarsh until the place falls over and will then slap a coat of paint on it.
Yet for a second Adelaide A-League team and marquee events, South Australia needs a world-class rectangular stadium.