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

Simon Douch Roar Guru

By Simon Douch, Simon Douch is a Roar Guru


58 Have your say

    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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    The Crowd Says (58)

    • December 5th 2017 @ 7:04am
      Not so super said | December 5th 2017 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      So, Gladys Berejiklian has essentially torn up a plan that would see ANZ Stadium undergo a $350 million rejuvenation, and instead opted to bulldoze it and start from scratch.

      That is wrong, the change was to rebuild the SFS which was down to be refurbished until eastern suburbs power brokers felt they were missing out and went on a campaign of coercion and spreading falsities to get the government to cave in

      And If ANZ was 40% full that would be tremendous
      It’s probably closer to 15

      • December 5th 2017 @ 5:15pm
        rolly said | December 5th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

        i would love to know who will get the contracts to demolish and rebuild the contractors will be well known once reveled its a major benefactor /donor of the liberal party . I hear Gerry Harvey and john singleton are behind the push to get rid of the hordon pavillion , it just makes no economic sense to demolish these stadiums .they were only built in the year 2000.building white elephants .

    • December 5th 2017 @ 7:25am
      marron said | December 5th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      …and one thing you can’t buy.


      Tell Shepherd to use his westconnex money if he wants a brand new stadium.

    • December 5th 2017 @ 9:18am
      Gyfox said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      I read with amazement about this proposal. The main justification seems to be that Sydney is missing out on major sporting events (which are going to attract lots of tourists). I can not think of any big/international sporting event that Sydney has missed out on in recent years (apart from the AFL Grand Final).

      The truth is that these 2 stadia basically cater for 3 football codes (NRL, Union & soccer) & these have all had declining crowds lately. The main one, NRL, averaged below 15,000 this year. Very rarely did it attract more than 25,000. People say the reason is because Sydney people do not go to sport like in other Aussie cities (apart from the Swans) or it is poor public transport, or the nice weather. The fact is both Allianz & ANZ are big enough for the crowds – & they are rarely filled.

      Despite what the Sports Minister says, Sydney people are not going to start flocking to them because of better toilets, bars & entrances.

      • December 5th 2017 @ 10:39pm
        celtic bandaid said | December 5th 2017 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

        Trust Me – I Will.

    • Roar Guru

      December 5th 2017 @ 9:32am
      mds1970 said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      Peter Fitzsimons put up on online petition on Saturday, which has already got nearly 100,000 signatures in just a couple of days. I can’t help thinking the stadium proposal is doomed.

      • Roar Guru

        December 5th 2017 @ 11:40am
        Nat said | December 5th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

        That equates to approx 2% of Sydney population. That is, of course, if all those signatures came from Sydneysiders. There is a process for change and a petition by Fitzsimmons will hold no bearing.

        • December 5th 2017 @ 10:41pm
          celtic bandaid said | December 5th 2017 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

          He’s a insular pragmatic North Shore pompous git

      • December 5th 2017 @ 12:39pm
        marcel said | December 5th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        Gladys’s greyhounds!

    • December 5th 2017 @ 9:41am
      paul said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      You didn’t mention the upgrades to all existing NSW NRL grounds that could be achieved with $2 billion.

      I read an article yesterday which suggests the current Premier is doing a Mike Baird; making arbitrary decisions without consulting either her cabinet or the parliamentary party. The article suggests if she keeps on this path, her party will get a hiding at the next election, which might not be a bad thing if it stops this sort of stupidity from happening.

      • December 5th 2017 @ 5:18pm
        rolly said | December 5th 2017 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

        good point imagine that, if the money was used to to build thirty thousand seat stadiums in the suburbs north south east and west and bring the game back to the burbs .makes too much sense then we would be playing to near packed houses every week

    • December 5th 2017 @ 9:43am
      John Hollins said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      Don’t forget that unless it’s a major international event, or State of Origin, Sydney people will not travel (and the distances and times of travel are far greater than in Melbourne). So that money could have been better spent completely refurbishing all the traditional NRL grounds to a similar, 25 to 30k undercover seating capacity. This could have included, Penrith, Kogarah, Brookvale, Leichardt, Campbelltown, Cronulla, plus refurbishments at Parramatta, Homebush and Moore Park. We could have even had Belmore upgraded too and perhaps Henson Park and that nice Rugby Ground, Concord Oval.
      Rugby League thrives in smaller, traditional, atmospheric grounds, not these monstrous, bland, concrete paviliions.
      This is not just a waste of money but a serious threat to Sydney sport as a whole.