Does Tasmania need its own Canberra?

Nick Symonds Roar Rookie

By Nick Symonds, Nick Symonds is a Roar Rookie

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    Tasmania’s north-south divide has held back its sporting aspirations on a number of occasions, but maybe the solution lies in Canberra.

    As long as the north-south divide persists it will always hold back Tasmania’s attempts to have an AFL team.

    One solution to this would be to build a new stadium halfway between Hobart and Launceston, preferably with large areas for cars to park like there were at Waverly.

    But without a major population centre in between it seems unlikely, so if you want to build a new stadium there you need to build a new city.

    This situation is similar to what happened when Sydney and Melbourne had a difference of opinion over which should be the Australian capital. The end result was Canberra.

    So if you use a new stadium as a catalyst to build a new city then you could also move the Tasmanian state parliament there as well.

    This city would effectively be Tasmania’s version of Canberra and would be located equidistant from Hobart, Launceston and the east coast with the central highlands just to the west.

    Like Canberra it could be well planned from the start with things like 4-5 story housing, cycle highways, bus rapid transit and so on.

    With liveability and lifestyle a focus throughout the design it won’t be hard to attract players wanting to live there.

    Not only would the city unite Tasmania through sport but it could also help to unite Tasmania politically as well.

    The city could be named after a notable Tasmanian such as Errol Flynn, David Foster, Peter Cundall, Elizabeth Blackburn or David Boon.

    I’d call the place ‘Boonie Stadium’.

    As for the cost of a stadium I think it’s manageable, even for Tasmania.

    Cost if paid in full by Tasmania
    30,000 seat stadium = up to $100 million
    $100 million divided by 500,000 people = $200 each
    $200 spread over 20 years = $10 per year per person

    Alternatively the Tasmanian government could raise the money through “value capture” on newly constructed properties in the new city.

    There are good examples of affordable stadiums from which to choose:
    Central Coast Stadium (20,000 seats) – $42 million in today’s money
    Dolphin Oval, Brisbane (10,000 seats) – Around $15 million
    Hobart Rectangular Stadium (proposed) – Up to $40 million
    Augsburg Arena (30,000 seats) – Around $75 million
    Rugby League Park, Christchurch (18,000 seats) – NZ$30 million
    QSAC (48,500 seats) – relocatable stands, cheap as chips.

    Most of the above stadiums are rectangular but I’m sure the same building system could be adapted to an oval stadium if required.

    The last two in particular are very interesting.

    Rugby League Park in Christchurch was designed in six months and built in under 100 days for just NZ$30 million.

    The design of QSAC means that you could either take the stands from there to Tasmania or build something similar at low cost.

    Relocation
    The AFL has spent hundreds of millions on the Suns and the Giants with very little to show for it.

    Giants supporters were outnumbered by Bulldogs fans in their own stadium during a semi-final for goodness sake!

    And what are the Suns good for? Absolutely nothing.

    Gary Ablett Junior Gold Coast Suns AFL 2016

    With the Saints now wanting to play one match in Hobart and another in Launceston, Tasmania will be propping up three Melbourne teams.

    But whenever Tasmania ask the AFL if they can have a team of their own, the AFL just look back and say ‘Computer says no’.

    It would be much better for the league and for the sport if the Suns and Giants were relocated to Tasmania and Canberra.

    And they won’t be outnumbered in their own stadium by Bulldogs supporters if they make a final either.

    Then if the AFL want a New Zealand team they can send the Saints to Auckland.

    More than a team
    If Tasmania had an AFL team it would unify the state, especially if the stadium is built between Hobart and Launceston.

    This would become a pilgrimage site allowing people from the north and south to meet and catch up almost like Stonehenge.

    Furthermore if a new city was established it could provide new jobs for unemployed people in Tasmania and bring full employment.

    In fact Tasmania would only need to create around 10,000 private sector jobs to end unemployment so it’s entirely possible that it could happen.

    That would be a great legacy for the AFL.

    To quote a popular TV ad, ‘I’d like to see that’.

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • April 9th 2017 @ 7:54am
      Nev said | April 9th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      Mind blown

    • Roar Guru

      April 9th 2017 @ 8:10am
      Rick Disnick said | April 9th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

      Yes, build a new city in Tasmania, all for the sake of playing some AFL games; I’m sure that will solve all the economic issues and unify the state.

      The NSW tax payer will love it also, especially given we already subsidise this state to exist.

    • April 9th 2017 @ 8:55am
      jeff dustby said | April 9th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      let everyone in the city pay. a huge percentage of people care little for sport and less for AFL. Nick, you are the gift that keeps on giving

    • April 9th 2017 @ 9:59am
      Don Freo said | April 9th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      I love it but you only broke down the cost of the stadium. What is the cost of building the city per capita?

      Dan Marsh could be a successful city Mayor…sems to have galvanised Tassie cricket.

      I much prefer this kind of article than sack the coach articles.

    • April 9th 2017 @ 10:07am
      Basil said | April 9th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      Was this written by Steve OKeefe after his bender the other night?

    • April 9th 2017 @ 10:28am
      A joke said | April 9th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      Seeing the attendance at Hobart yesterday, my minds made up. No chance of a Tassie team.

      Too small a population. You need a city with half a million minimum to have a chance of working.

      The AFL has too many teams now. Melbourne and Sydney are growing cities, they are where efforts need to be concentrated.

      • April 9th 2017 @ 11:35am
        Axle and the Guru said | April 9th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Maybe if they played games down there that people actually cared about you would see much better attendances. Tasmania couldn’t give a FF about clubs like Fremantle and GWS, if you had Essendon and Carlton playing down there you would see a different outcome.

      • April 9th 2017 @ 11:37am
        John Uhr-Henry said | April 9th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

        Get a team down there and see what would change. Tasmania has been starved of a football team for 50 yrs. Tasmania would be growing cities too if their work had not been taken away from them. I worked there when everybody had a good job for many years.

      • April 12th 2017 @ 9:20am
        Birdman said | April 12th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        poor turnout but they were playing a team that even people in Western Sydney don’t support, it was head to head with Supercars at Symmons Plains and the mountain bike nationals at Derby.

        Having said that, the Hawks have been served up some unappealing fixturing by the AFL for years so welcome to the future North fans.

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