Think no one wants new stadia? Try asking football fans

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert


296 Have your say

Popular article! 4,010 reads

    Peter FitzSimons may have touched a raw nerve with his anti-stadia rhetoric, but he did so by ignoring the sport that stands to benefit most – football.

    FitzSimons is never shy of engaging in a spot of populist grandstanding, and in New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement that her government would knock down and rebuild both Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium in Sydney, he found a foolproof subject.

    Raging against the political machine with his usual chest-thumping verbosity, FitzSimons went so far as to start a petition that to date has raised more than 130,000 signatures in opposition to Berejiklian’s plans.

    Let no one say Australians aren’t engaged in the political process, especially if the only thing that’s required of them is to fill in an online form.

    Yet by writing in such broad terms about the implications of knocking down the grounds, FitzSimons conveniently ignored mentioning the one sport that consistently out-draws all others at the two venues – football.

    So let’s have a go ourselves, shall we?

    When was the last sold-out game at ANZ Stadium? Last month, for the Socceroos’ decisive World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

    Which fixture has attracted crowds of 26,176; 40,388; 40,285; 41,213; 40,539; 40,382; 40,143 and 36,057 to Allianz Stadium over the past five years? The A-League’s Sydney derby.

    How many fans turned up to Allianz Stadium for last year’s sold-out A-League grand final? 41,546.

    But it wouldn’t pay to mention any of these statistics when your narrative is that “no one” ever shows up at either ground.

    And that’s something that should ring alarm bells for football fans.

    I was delighted to see Steve Mascord make his return to The Roar during the week, but not the least bit surprised to see he failed to mention the A-League when discussing the whys and wherefores of rebuilding the two grounds.

    Why would he? Mascord is one of the best journos in Australian sport, but he’s also firmly entrenched in the rugby league camp.

    And the line that knocking down and rebuilding ANZ and Allianz Stadium is for the exclusive benefit of the National Rugby League is one you see repeated in the mainstream media time and time again.

    It’s not like football is given a second thought here – it doesn’t even enter the conversation.

    An artist's impression of the Allianz Stadium rebuild

    It’s a good thing, then, that after years of being Allianz Stadium’s biggest drawcard, the SCG Trust has belatedly decided to instil some football nous into its 15-member board.

    According to the Daily Telegraph, the ABC’s W-League commentator and long-time friend of football, Stephanie Brantz, looks set to join former Sydney FC director Michael Crismale on the SCG Trust’s revamped board.

    And not a minute too soon, if you ask me.

    Having missed kick-off at the last Sydney derby because a set of turnstiles failed, there’s no doubt in my mind that the increasingly decrepit Allianz Stadium needs extensive renovations.

    The only folks who seem to disagree are those who either never attend games at the venue, or sit in the climate-controlled comfort of catered boxes when they do.

    FitzSimons is probably right in thinking that knocking down both Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium at a cost of $2 billion to taxpayers is an act of political suicide for Berejiklian’s government.

    But on the eve of the latest Sydney derby – one where Football Federation Australia’s decision to cross-promote with Star Wars would have to rank as their dumbest marketing campaign to date – there’s another issue at stake for football.

    It’s an issue of the game standing up for itself and having a voice in the mainstream media, instead of being wilfully overlooked by influential columnists who perhaps would prefer the A-League didn’t exist at all.

    There are many reasons football fans should care about Sydney stadia being rebuilt – the addition of safe standing terraces among them.

    We shouldn’t be afraid of treading on anyone’s toes. Because unless we do, football will be doomed to play second fiddle to the other codes forever.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (296)

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:31am
      RandyM said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      you have to understand something. Certain parts of the media detest Rugby League and the NRL and people like Fitzsimons are more interested in stirring up outrage towards the NRL than saving money for the government. Anyway I am pretty sure the NRL would love football to get more involved in the discussions and work together.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 10:33am
        Mick said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        You’re all idiots, should put it into bitcoin, then buy the aleague ??

      • December 8th 2017 @ 3:44pm
        Albo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

        Fitzsimmons is just playing his usual politics game. He couldn’t care less about the sporting interests of Sydney as long as he can rage against a Liberal government with a killing Bambi strategy …what about the poor kids missing out !

        • December 8th 2017 @ 3:57pm
          Redondo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

          Much as I dislike the way he writes, it’s hard to fault FitzSimons for his sustained advocacy for grassroots and community sport over elite and big business sport.

          It’s not ‘playing politics’ to strongly express a well-reasoned opinion on a social issue. You, on the other hand, are playing politics by dismissing his arguments with an emotive fact-free insinuation that he is simply anti-Liberal.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 6:38pm
        Alex said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

        I’m a Football fan and certainly no supporter of Fitzsimmons but I agree with him on this one.

        Knocking down and rebuilding two structurally sound stadiums – one only twenty years old and the other barely thirty – that only need a modest refurbishment, is outrageous when we have whole families having nothing to eat and nowhere to live!!!

        Many of them living in cars!!!

        If this goes ahead, what’s next?

        Are we going to award a building contract to another greedy builder donor mate, to rebuild federal parliament house? After all, it’s thirty years old too!

        And while we’re at it, put the bulldozers through the Sydney Opera House too – it’s more than forty years old, so by this logic, it’s gotta go!!

        This blatantly political decision to reward the NSW LNP’s big builder donor mates with multi-billion dollar building contracts – ALL because they have run out of building work and believe they have a right to the state’s tax payers funds – will get this government thrown out at the next election.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:33am
      Big Steve said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      this makes no sense. you say alliance needs renovations. moat people agree with you. but that doesnt mean the stadiums should be demolished and rebuilt. they need to go back to the original renevation plan.

      does football really need to stand up for its self at the cost of $2B.

      i dont know fans of any sport that actually thinks this latest proposal is a good idea.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 8:51am
        Wade said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        Yep, I’m a sports fan but this is about as dumb as it gets. Sure do some renovations but don’t spend $2B on sydney siders who struggle to half fill the existing stadiums. Spend the mony on regional sporting facilities, roads, hospitals and schools. I have spoken to a lot of people about the proposal (including footbal / league fans) and NO ONE thinks it is a good idea.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 10:16am
        JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Pretty much what I was going to say. Most people understand the value of having large, quality sporting venues in major urban areas, irrespective of the sport. That doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch.

        The MCG, Adelaide Oval, the SCG and Kardinia Park, just to name a few, have all had significant renovations in recent years that didn’t require complete reconstruction. In fact, they still used those grounds during the renovation phase.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:00am
          Hamish said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          Out of those examples, Adelaide Oval was demolished and reconstructed (Only the old scoreboard remains). The MCG was demolished and rebuilt in 2 parts, Southern Stand in 1992 and Northern Stand in 2006. The SCG and Kardinia are both being rebuilt stand by stand, it’s not renovation it’s a bit by bit reconstruction. As Allianz Stadium doesn’t have stands, as a bowl-like stadium, you can’t do it bit by bit, a complete rebuild is needed – and given its age and poor facilities and some design faults, I think its the right idea.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 10:32am
        Kavvy said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Spot on. I can’t believe Mike doesn’t understand this himself and wrote this because of a persecution complex. The stadiums need renovations, all fair minded ppl agree on this, regardless of sport of choice, complete reconstruction is a gross waste of money.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:16am
          chris said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          And if the renos cost more than the rebuild?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 11:18am
            spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

            It’s a fair question.

            But, of course the counter is “and if they don’t?”

            Problem is that we aren’t given the information we have a right to view.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 10:35am
        Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

        Pretty much agree. Surely they could replace all the seats, upgrade the bathrooms and other facilities, replace all the turnstiles and anything else that’s causing issues and make the place feel almost like new without having to completely rebuild the Stadium. The Olympic Stadium isn’t even 20 years old. That’s pretty young to be talking about completely demolishing it and building a brand new stadium from scratch. Surely any issues with it could be addressed by much less costly renovations.

        Parramatta Stadium was the one that needed to be completely rebuilt, and they did that. The error I think they made there was putting in 10,000 seats less than they should have. Should have gone for an SFS sort of seating size, 40-45K. But these ones just need freshening up, not completely replacing.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:54am
          Worlds Biggest said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

          Allianz could certainly be done a lot cheaper by way of a refurb but not a knock down. ANZ was built for the Olympics, Sydney needs a large purpose built rectangular Stadium hence why ANZ is getting re done and it makes sense. The London Olympic Stadium is now West Hams home ground and everyone ( including West Ham ) hates the place.

          The criticism of ANZ has been the upper tiers and ends are too far away from the field. The only way to change this is by way of a refurb which let’s say costs 700 mill or a brand new stadium for let’s stay 1 billion. You are better off going the whole hog, spending a bit more coin and getting a fabulous new purpose built stadium for Soccer, League and Union.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:50am
      Dan said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Mate, Rugby League fans are loving the thought of these new grounds!

      • December 8th 2017 @ 10:13am
        Kangajets said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        I disagree

        I see rugby league union and football fans condemning the government wasting 2 billion

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:07am
          chris said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          They waste money ALL the time! Those who think that by not going ahead with stadium upgrades that they will suddenly see brand new hospitals and new schools being built are kidding themselves.
          This is all about investing in money making ventures (like building new roads or new housing developments).

    • December 8th 2017 @ 9:15am
      Torchbearer said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      So because the soccer gets a few matches over 40,000 over a period of 5 years we should pull down the perfectly good Olympic Stadium so there is a slightly better atmosphere for 40,000 spectators? At a cost of $2 billion? Sydney will be left with no 80,000 venue, no stadium to host the Olympics, Commonwealths, World Athletics Champs etc…
      NRL crowds average less than 15,000 a game, why don’t we just punt them back to tarted up local ovals, with REAL atmosphere?
      Nothing about this proposal makes sense. More people visit Sydney’s art galleries and museums each week, yet they have to beg and scrape for corporate patrons to pay for new facilities.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 9:20am
        chris said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        Hosting the Commonwealths? lol

      • December 8th 2017 @ 9:58am
        Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        Yeah – this article misses a major point in all of this – M.T. has only referred to Allianz (SFS) stadium and doesn’t address the Homebush/ANZ (or whatever it is these days) portion of the discussion.

        And correct most people probably agree that renovations are called for – but a knock for a rebuild in situ is a big call and needs to be debated.

        The soccer folk – and the NRL folk for that matter – ought be obliged to chip in $10 mill each if it’s such a great idea. If unwilling to do that then shouldn’t be asking the tax payers to rebuild stadia for which a spruce up might suffice.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:22am
          Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

          “The soccer folk – and the NRL folk for that matter – ought be obliged to chip in $10 mill each”

          How did you arrive at this figure? Just plucked it out of your nether hole? Why $10m each? Why not $100m each? Why not $1m each?

          What was the level of funding to construction cost paid by AFL for the Suns Stadium construction, the GWS stadium construction, the Geelong stadium construction?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 10:37am
            Rick Disnick said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

            “What was the level of funding to construction cost paid by AFL for the Suns Stadium construction”

            $13.3 million.

            Well done again.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 4:40pm
              AR said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

              Summary of discussion thread regarding funding for rectangular stadia:

              Fuss: “yeah well…what has the AFL contributed…???!!!!!”

              Response: “tens of millions in direct capital to multiple stadia around the country” (with links to stadium websites included)

              Fuss: “Oh. Yeah well…show me the AFL financial reports!!!”

              Response: (forehead slap)

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 11:26am
            spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            The AFL chipped in $20m for the GWS stadium upgrade. It is strongly rumoured the that AFL contributed close to $60 million for the Perth stadium. They also gave money for the Adelaide oval (although no one is prepared to name a number from the research I’ve done).

            They chipped in about $2m per each stage of the Kardinia Park redevelopment.

            The totals are irrelevant.

            The question as to why the NRL, FFA and RA feel that they shouldn’t chip in a cent is important.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 12:24pm
              Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

              “It is strongly rumoured the that AFL contributed close to $60 million for the Perth stadium. ”

              Strongly rumoured? Does the item appear in the AFL Annual Financial Statements? Where

              I’m looking at the 2016 AFL Annual Report & total of $7m was spent on “Ground Developments” in the past 12 months … total. That’s all across Australia from Grassroots clubs to the elite level.

              So, unless I see the actual item referenced in the AFL Annual Financial Statements, I don’t believe a word about the AFL investments in Stadiums.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:18pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                My understanding of the Perth stadium is that the WA state govt has kinda botched it – and at a very late hour were still trying to talk the AFL and Fed Govts into handing over some cash – – but really only with a capacity to bargain with the AFL and wherein it would be more likely to be revealed in annual ‘arrangements’ rather than handing over a lump sum. And those discussions ran to mid/late October of this year.

                It really looks like a poorly managed exercise by the WA state govt. The AFL had threatened to stay at Subiaco – – that would’ve looked great!!!

                It is astonishing that the Govt seemed to run off the rails a tad with this project. It’s a $1.5 bill project I gather. Can’t blame the AFL or the Feds.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:30pm
                Chris Wright said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                I don’t think this is the case. If so why was the AFL the last sport to agree to terms to play games at the new Perth Stadium? If they had chipped in so much it should have been a done deal..

            • December 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm
              Brainstrust said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

              AFl doesn;t pay rent for stadiums it chips in money, and as far as I know they haven;t put a cent into Adelaide and Perth and expect no rent as well.
              The worst one is Carrara they take the naming rights money which is a couple of million a year as well as paying no rent, and just the naming rights is more than they put into the stadium by now.
              Other sports pay rent like for the SFS which is overpriced, and the stadiums in Queensland,, the only exception is ANZ stadium.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 9:10am
                Perry Bridge said | December 9th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report


                Where do you get the notion AFL don’t pay rent?

                What it boils down to is case by case for venues. Who is the match day operator. How are the match day revenues and expenses managed. And what long term agreements are in place.

                What we saw with the Adelaide oval was that the balance wasn’t right and the Crows and Port weren’t making reasonable returns despite better than forecast attendances (in 2014 the Power avg’d over 44K, +12K on forecast). There was a drawn out review – it’s not simple and when things like 20 year agreements are being nutted out again – it’s not simple.

                To suggest they aren’t paying rent though is curious indeed – I’d like very much to see your sources??

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:36am
            Ken Spacey said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

            Not to mention the umpteen rebuilds of the MCG over 20 years costing billions. WA govt like SA just spent a fortune on a you beaut but completely soccer unfriendly stadium. Perhaps soccer fans should launch a class action against state govts for all the decades of discrimination and under funding. Anyway the problem is you need a new style of stadia where the superstructure goes on but the ground can be reconfigured and reinvented as required. Allianz end zones are too deep and tier rise too shallow. They should design it so the 15-25,000 crowds are more concentrated and closer to the action, hide the rest of the capacity and only open it up fully on max attendance days. By the way Perry, international visitors and branding are part of the cost vs benefit deal and despite the hype, the AFL is an epic fail on that scale. The mere fact of making the World Cup for even three games is hugely valuble to our place in the world.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 11:43am
              Tom M said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

              The AFL paid significant amounts of money towards the upgrade of both Adelaide oval and the building of the new Perth stadium. If Soccer wants new stadiums how bout they chip in a bit and secure their interests at the same time. Adelaide oval is brilliant and its not the AFL’s fault soccer cant pull a crowd

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:56pm
                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                If Adelaide Oval is so brilliant, why is AFLX being played at Hindmarsh Stadium next month?

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 1:52pm
                spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                Slow clap Nem.

                Slow clap.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:15pm
                Christo the Daddyo said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                Nemesis – you do understand the whole point of AFLX is to play it on a rectangular field don’t you? Just remind us what shape the Adelaide Oval is again?

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm
                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                “you do understand the whole point of AFLX is to play it on a rectangular field don’t you”

                Have you studied any geometry during your school years?

                How does playing on a rectangular field prevent AFLX being played at Adelaide Oval?

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm
                Sydneysider said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

                “Have you studied any geometry during your school years?

                How does playing on a rectangular field prevent AFLX being played at Adelaide Oval?”

                spot on Nemesis.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:12pm
                valhalla said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                if thats the case, whats the point of a anz stadium rebuild – the field can fit within the existing dimensions of the playing surface ….. unless your one of the “they looked like ants” party

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:50pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                @ Christo the Daddyo – you do realise you can mark out a rectangle on an oval field don’t you? AFL is just out to disrupt football dates at Hindmarsh, no other reason. And how many oval grounds in Adelaide could accommodate AFLX to play on—there must be hundreds of them to choose from.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:05pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

                #Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football

                You do realise the AFL shares venues like the MCG and Adelaide oval with Cricket and that limits AFL pre-season access.

                I suspect Hindmarsh Stadium will be glad to take an extra booking.

                Why’s it all got to be a conspiracy theory to damage your preferred game??

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:24pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

                Tell me how many AFL oval grounds are there in Adelaide, perhaps 10 or more ? Are you seriously suggesting that the Hindmarsh football stadium is the only football ground capable of accommodating AFLX? lol. Hindmarsh has just about the best playing surface for Football in the country and that is because it is a designated football purpose ground and should remain so. Use one of the many Aussie rules ovals in Adelaide for you kick and giggle AFLX.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 6:13pm
                Kangajets said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

                At least 10 sanfl afl grounds and abt 200 other suburban grounds in Adelaide.

                It’s likely the oval grounds are used by crickets

                So the afl is taking their pre season x gsmes to Hindmarsh .

              • December 9th 2017 @ 12:28pm
                BigAl said | December 9th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm

                Come on Nem ! (and your fanboys ).

                Sure AFLX(whatever it is) can be played on Oval shaped grounds, but it’s been widely mentioned that one of the main ideas behind it’s concept is that it can be played where no oval grounds are available.

                I bet you know this ! – maybe not your fanboys…

            • December 8th 2017 @ 11:46am
              valhalla said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

              another “they look like ants” sob story from the soccerati set

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:01pm
                Kangajets said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Sydney deserves nothing from the New South Wales government.

                Northern and southern nsw provides the coal the electricity the produce the whole food industry.

                Spend the money in places out of Sydney on anything but more football stadiums

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:01pm
                Kangajets said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Soccerati. Like it

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:58pm
                Freddie said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Another “I can’t help but read the ‘soccer’ story and comment” line from the paranoid catch & cuddle brigade. AFL hand-egg thingy board is on another page.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:44pm
                Kangajets said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report


                Who r u directing this at . I’m as rusted on football fan .

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:01pm
                Fadida said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                Nothing on the AFL tab again today boys?

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:10pm
                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                “Catch & Cuddle” … that’s really very good.

                I also like:
                Crash & Bash Sport
                Carry Ball
                Coward Punch Sport

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:15pm
                valhalla said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                in fear of borrowing from the alt right neo nazis nuff nuffs, but you do seem somewhat triggered

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:41pm
                Hubris said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                It was inevitable that this football themed discussion of Sydney’s rectangular stadiums would turn into an anti-AFL circle jerk. Tuckers does it again!

            • December 8th 2017 @ 12:39pm
              Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              #Ken Spacey

              “Not to mention the umpteen rebuilds of the MCG over 20 years costing billions”

              The MCG has been 100% rebuilt since 1990.

              The first phase was the Great Southern Stand. Cost around $142 million. Govt funding – zero. MCC debt based on the AFL signing on for a 40 year agreement from 1992. As at the year 2000, the AFL directly/indirectly contributed around 75% of the MCC annual revenue – incl direct annual payments of $5.8 mill plus match day costs (avg $60,500 per game).

              The second phase was the demolishing of the Northern, Members and Ponsford stands and their rebuild. This was a $434 million project, to which the Fed Govt committed $113mill but that was rejected by the State Govt due to the Peter Reith workchoices strings that were attached. The State Govt put up about $78 mill. The MCC covered the cost via debt and again the AFL does most of the heavy lifting and extended it’s MCG agreement to 45 years (2037 – so don’t expect an interstate GF for the next 20 years!!).

              So – A. not Billions on the MCG B. given the $576 mill total rebuild saw the State Govt put in only 13.5% and Fed Govt nothing. and C. given the roughly $460 million to build Etihad/Docklands stadium again was zero Govt money (yes, land, but money – no) – that saw over a billion dollars of stadia built with less than 8% Govt funds.

              The only big spend in Melbourne town was the $267 million 100% state govt funded dedicated rectangular AAMI Park.

              So – don’t you go waffling on about BS that you clearly don’t understand – do a little research first.

              Note too – the MCG does okay from international/interstate visitors for big events – however – because it is well enough patronised by the AFL it has a solid business case – the envy of many and certainly the envy of NSW/Sydney. It’s actually the cricket season when the MCG is most often a cavernous expanse (streamed any of the Shield Cricket matches lately??).

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:54pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

                So land has no monetary value… lol

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:13pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

                #Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football

                With respect to the quoted $460 million construction costs – the monetary value of the land is not recorded against this – as it was not a ‘cost’ for the private construction project. I made note of it – so, I’m glad you picked up on it – that shows you can read so that’s a start!! (knock off time yet?…..almost).

                The ‘cost’ to the taxpayer – writing off some former rail yards has no doubt payed off in spades for the revenue generated by what has become the Docklands and Waterfront City developments (as ugly as I reckon much of it is).

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:42pm
                Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                Buy a dictionary, anyone will do, and look up the words monetary value. (hopefully you will be able to comprehend the words) The Vic government have gifted the land (Docklands) to the AFL worth hundreds of millions of dollars; for a mere $30, yes a mere $30, when the option price is acted upon. So let’s not pretend it was all AFL money that went into the project.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 9:38am
                Perry Bridge said | December 9th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                #Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football

                No – in effect the AFL bought the land (Graeme Samuel brokered the deal to ensure the AFL sold out of Waverley and moved to Docklands stadium – – without the AFL the stadium was dead in the water…or on the waters edge as it is).

                The AFL put up $30 million (not $30 – that was the ‘buy out’ figure for 2025 – which has NOT happened given the AFL has bought it out early – so, perhaps we set the equation, $30 mill up front for the land and $200 mill – so a final price of $230 mill secures land, stadium, rights – as well as a lot of money contributed along the way – by clubs/fans – with very high ‘break even’ crowds.). The AFL at least were able to make more money than anticipated from the land sale around the old VFL Park – that was a bonus.

                However – yes – in a sense it’s a gift at that price (sticking with $30 million – although, at the time revenues weren’t what they are now) – right now – the AFL could bulldoze Etihad (mebbe some other equipment needed!!) – and make a good profit on the land alone. However – the power of being stadium owner/operator is something that is unequalled (esp since the AFL helped negotiated WA and SA scenarios to push the SANFL and WAFC out of stadium ownership……see a trend there?? A footy powershift to further centralise revenues in the hands of the AFL.)

                It WAS a big deal for the AFL to walk away from a 100% owned venue were ‘break even’ was around a 15,000 crowd to a privately run stadium where break even was more around 30,000.

                Docklands was a ‘BOOT’ project, build, own, operate, transfer. It was tough going for the owners in the first 5-6 years. But – not nearly as tough as Stadium Australia. I gather in that case, the cost was $670mil to build, $555mil was from private monies and $115mil from the state government. After the Olympics another $80mil was spent to reconfigure the stadium by the private owners.

                The stadium did so poorly it was sold to ANZ for $10mil in late 2006 and the $140mil they lent the stadium owners was converted to equity and ownership of the stadium transfered to one of ANZ’s infrastructure funds. So effectively $555mil (1999$) + $80mil (2002$) was only worth $150mil in late 2006.

                So on that basis – the AFL haven’t got a massive bargain re the stadium. The land??

                It’s a tough job – stadium economics. So – let’s accept that they are rarely anticipated to pay themselves off in any short-medium term. That Govt’s like them for the ‘feel good’ factor that cities have about themselves. And if you at least have a sport or two (AFL in particular in WA, SA, VIC and heck, the SCG) and Cricket (esp in an Ashes series and via the BBL) that can regularly fill (let’s say, 80%+ of capacity) the venues – then it LOOKS like it’s all worth while.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 5:30pm
              The_Wookie said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

              umpteen rebuilds?

              The MCG has been rebuilt in 2 parts – the Great Southern Stand in 1992, and the Northern Stand in 2004. Some refurbishment has been done to the Southern Stand to modernise it.

              However the vast amount of this is paid for by the MCC and not the state or federal governments.

              The WA and SA Governments have literally spent money replacing stadiums that were built in the 70s. In WAs case, they’ve literally just refurbished a soccer stadium at the cost of 90 odd million, and Hindmarsh was done for soccer after 2000 as well. Not to mention the 2006 build of Aami Park as a rectangular venue in Melbourne that has cost the state more money than it has contributed to any AFL stadiums in Victoria.,

              • December 9th 2017 @ 9:40am
                Perry Bridge said | December 9th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

                #the Wookie

                It is astounding the pre-conceived ideas some soccer folk seem to have. One recalls the mistruths that soccer journalists pushed back in the 2009 WC bid ‘campaign’ that the round ball folk ran. There was absolute garbage pushed about stadiums. It doesn’t help.

                What we see here is that even when handed the facts from primary sources – if it doesn’t fit the desired narrative then the #Nemesis/#Post Hocs of the world simply choose to ignore.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 10:42am
                Nemesis said | December 9th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                Do you know how to read Financial Statements?

                If the AFL has invested significant funds in MCG, Perth Stadium, stadiums where GWS & Suns play, Adelaide Oval, Kardinia Park, etc. etc. we will have this investment clearly appear in the AFL’s Annual Financial Statements.

                If you find it, let me know & I’ll accept the statement as a evidence that the AFL has invested that amount of money in those stadiums.

                If you cannot find the entries, then how about you read: “Financial Reporting for Dummies”.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 3:13pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 9th 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report


                The monies relating to the stadiums on the Gold Coast and RAS fall under ‘New Markets’ reporting item in the published Annual Reports.

                To see greater detail – down to the account lines – well, you might have to visit the AFL or KPMG or…….a faith healer.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 4:43pm
                Nemesis said | December 9th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                Given the AFL specifically has a dot point in its summary “Financial Result” summary (page 13) for “development and improvement of facilities & grounds” it stands to reason this is the amount that the AFL spends on all “development & improvement of facilities & grounds”.

                It’s not under some ubiquitous pot of “New Markets” or “Catering” or Corporate Initiatives”.

                Money spent on “Development & improvement of grounds” will be listed as the line item “Development & improvement of grounds”

                For the Year 2016, the total the AFL allocated to “Development & improvement of grounds” was $10.6 million.

                The average annual investment AFL has itemised as “Ground improvements” is around $5 million per annum since 2007.

                You are delusional if you think $5m per annum equates to the capital investment you are claiming AFL has made to construct: MCG, Perth Stadium, Adelaide Oval, Kardinia Park, Spotless Stadium, Metricon Stadium, SCG, etc etc

                And, this figure in the AFL Financial Statements for “Ground Developments” would include the total investment from grassroots clubs, to AFL clubs.

                “New Markets” investment would include the welfare handouts to Suns & GWS that are given by Head Office since Suns & GWS are financial basket cases & are unable to pay their own operating expenses.

              • December 10th 2017 @ 9:30am
                Perry Bridge said | December 10th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report


                You said – “New Markets” investment would include the welfare handouts to Suns & GWS that are given by Head Office since Suns & GWS are financial basket cases & are unable to pay their own operating expenses.

                Me – or that would fall under the “Payments to Clubs”.

                “New Markets” is handling ‘extraordinary’ expenses. The establishment costs of the new clubs and grounds that are along the lines of one off items and wouldn’t be rolled over in creating the budget/forecast for the next/coming years.

                Considering the AFL report has the following categories of “Game Development Grants”, “Facilities Development” and “Ground Improvements” there’s a bunch of ‘ordinary’ buckets to drop things like funding to Geelong for Kardinia Park into.

                Considering that ‘New Markets’ peaked across 2010 (23.7mill) and 2011 (31.6 mill) – and the highest otherwise is 16.5 mill in 2016 – then that fits with the assertion that Metricon and RAS payments were included around that time in this ‘bucket’.

                $22.2 mill of the $31.6 mill in 2011 was re GWS Giants, which included $10 mill re Skoda – for that year – (although the final full $65mill of the project ended up with another $2mill from AFL, the $7mill from the RAS and $45 mill of NSW State Govt).

                Anyway – we’ll probably have to agree to disagree as you are trying your darndest to contest any and everything due to your stubborn determination to not acknowledge that the AFL is far better for the economy than soccer is!!! (yep – poking the bear).

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 11:38am
            Rick Disnick said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:38am | ! Report

            Guys, go easy on him.

            He doesn’t understand this stuff.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:44am
            Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report


            Why $10 million – okay,

            Based on the reports around the RAS (operated by the RAS), $65 million bill (back around 2012) – quotes State Govt $45 mill, AFL $12mill (27%) and the RAS themselves $7 mill.

            The quickest google shows as mentioned already for Metricon Stadium QLD Govt put in $71.9 million, Fed Govt $36 mill, GC City Council $23 mill and the AFL $13.3 mill (about 9.2%).

            Down in Geelong since ‘stage 1’ – about $200 million has been spent at the City of Greater Geelong owned venue. The breakdown State Govt $121 mill, Fed Govt $24 mill, Geelong Council $16.5 mill, GeelFC $18.13 mill and AFL $11.75 mill so between GeelFC and AFL a combined almost $29 mill.

            So when I pluck a figure of around $10 mill – it’s largely based on the above.

            What’s your point?

            • December 8th 2017 @ 12:14pm
              Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              This is the sort of reasoning I wanted. If you’d put that in your original post, it would have saved me the time asking the question.

              That’s not to say I accept the figures you provided, but at least you provided some figures & rationale.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:26pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

                The figures I provided are commonly available via a bit of googling (and not one was based on a Wikipedia article).

                I can’t make you choose to believe or not believe – although I might need to nick name you Hiroo Onoda – the Japanese soldier who refused to believe WWII had ended.

                The reason I suggested the $10 mill was less about that it really should happen (that’s another discussion but yes, closely allied to this) – – however – – it’s more about whether the other codes and their fans are willing to put their money on the table or not.

                IT’s the greatest BS test – – you can postulate all you want about they (the ‘Govt’) should do this, they should do that – but, it becomes more real when you have to subscribe to the cost more directly than your income tax or GST revenues.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:38pm
                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                The only figures I will accept are figures that appear in the AFL Financial Statements, since they have been audited & comply with recognised Accounting Standards.

                I do not believe any other figures at this stage.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report


                Well knock yourself out. I’ve shown you what water to look for. You find it and drink!!! (good task for Friday arvo after a long lunch!!).

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:51pm
                spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Wow. You must have been a gymnast with that backflip Nem.

                Your paranoia knows no bounds it seems.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:54pm
                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                So, I take it you don’t have any reference in the actual AFL Financial Statement to validate your rumours.

                Maybe, the AFL meatheads are willing to accept your Wikipedia financial validation, but it won’t work with the football community.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:58pm
                spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report


                Perry explicitly stated that not one piece of evidence came from wikipedia.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:12pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report


                How about before you go calling people names – how about you put in some ground work yourself and disprove.

                Anyway – not that you deserve it – but re the RAS showgrounds –


                From May 23, 2012, then NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell; Mr O’Farrell said the stadium redevelopment had been jointly funded by the NSW Government ($45 million), the Australian Football League ($12 million) and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW ($7 million).

                Do you believe that? Stated at the opening of the venue?

                I don’t know how the AFL $12 mill was contributed – was it in 3 instalments of 3 years? Was it a commitment to AFL specific fit out? I have no idea.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:15pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report


                re Metricon stadium – the rumour mill is clearly tenuous at best, isn’t it – when we refer to the metriconstadium website itself:


                As a part of the AFL’s expansion into the Gold Coast, a new $144m stadium was built at Carrara.

                Metricon Stadium has been jointly funded by the Queensland Government ($71.9m), Commonwealth Government ($36m), Gold Coast City Council ($23m) and the AFL ($13.3m) and is a multipurpose facility that currently seats 25,000 spectators and will be capable of being extended to 40,000 seats in the future. Metricon Stadium features an AFL oval that will also be capable of holding ICC cricket matches, concerts, festivals, IAAF athletics events and FIFA World Cup soccer matches.

                Perhaps the last point is a bit wishful thinking!!!

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                “and the AFL ($13.3m)”

                Unless I see the relevant entry in the AFL Financial Statements that does not tell me anything.

                It’s like a residential tenant paying $50k per year for a 5 year lease saying “I paid $250k towards this $1m property”.

                It’s highly likely, the AFL uses the value of it’s rental contracts for hiring a stadium for 10 years (or whatever) to pretend it is paying for construction costs. It’s utter garbage.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:45pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report


                The ‘lease’ arrangements you speak of are what are in place at the MCG (45 year lease tied to the funding of the project with annual payments plus agreement on per match costs) where the AFL do NOT claim a contribution to the construction phase of the project.

                There’s no reason for Govt, stadia or the AFL to falsely report an AFL contribution to the construction phase.

                Anyway – not my issue. Return your head to the sand and enjoy the weekend from that perspective.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 12:53pm
              Post_hoc said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              And, Blacktown (never used by GWS) and the training facility for GWS (now Swans want one) all paid for by the government, Why?

              So where was the outrage from you AFL lot when these money were being given to the AFL for The SCG?, Spotless, Blacktown etc?

              Surely any expenditure is wrong if you are having a whinge about this

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:49pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                #Post Hoc

                Blacktown stadium – the phase that was completed – included State Govt monies, Blacktown council monies and oh yeah – both the AFL and Cricket NSW.

                The State Govt portion of $20 mill ($15 mill for AFL/Cricket facilities and $5 mill for soccer) was announced way back in 2005.

                That’s an important fact – because in 2005 the GWS weren’t on the table. The announcement from “NSW Planning” quoted then AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou “AFL/Blacktown Council community partnership, will host the AFL’s multicultural program, school and community activities”.

                Talk of GWS didn’t start until around May the following year.

                The Daily Telegraph ran a ridiculous anti AFL agenda claiming the Council had “siphoned almost all of a $20 million taxpayer fund for sports facilities” where in actuality the money had been spent exactly upon what it had been allocated and made available for.

                The AFL and Cricket NSW each chipped in $2.875 mill and the council about $6.75 mill.

                So – A. the AFL and Cricket NSW were equal partners in a PPP deal with 2 tiers of Govt and that was before GWS was entered into any conversations.

                And B – that’s part of the point – if the sports body isn’t able to reach into its own pocket – why should the public purse be raided in totality?

                And the irony with Sydney Thunder using Spotless is that while the AFL stumped up a sizeable contribution, that cricket didn’t. And the RAS maintain control and take first dibs on the venue around Easter (of course).

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:35pm
                Post_hoc said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

                Perry, the point is, were was your outcry and the rest of this mob? When public funds were being used in this way? Why didn’t we hear the outcry about the MCG, SCG, Perth Stadium, Adealide Oval, Gold Coast?

                It is a pretty simple question, why now and not then?

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:29pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                #Post Hoc

                Why have you included the MCG in your list? Less than 15% of the full rebuild was Govt – even with an extra $30mill or so, almost matched by the MCC, for some refurb – the public spend is very, very small for such a facility (esp given people like you probably believe it to be much greater).

                I argued against the 100% Vic Govt spend on AAMI Park (~$267 mill).

                I really didn’t know enough about the Perth stadium to comment.

                and the Adelaide Oval looks great, is full much of the time. I gather there was some grumblings about the deals for the AFL clubs that were initially a bit steep.

                I don’t mind the Public/Private Partnership models that the AFL get involved in. It’s what happens at local level – grants generally require the application club to stump up some funds or other ‘resources’ ‘in kind’ to get projects done. What should it be different at the elite professional level? (where it tends to be different is for the privately owned clubs, soccer, NRL in the day).

      • December 8th 2017 @ 10:21am
        lesterlike said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        The Olympic stadium is not perfectly good, it’s a hybrid dump and should have been totally renovated into a rectangular stadium immediately following the Olympics like the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Because it is such a dump, people hesitate spending the money on premium tickets for major events, let alone travelling to Sydney for it.

        If it gets a full rebuild and the seats are brought in, then I and plenty of other interstate sport fans will have far less of a problem with flying down for major events like Socceroos games that require the big capacity. I expect NSW will get a sizeable their sports tourism money and the governing bodies will be justified bringing their big events to Sydney.

        It is utter madness keeping it oval just so we can host at tournament like the Com Games which are on their deathbed, a tournament no one here cares about like the World Athletics Champs or one Australia will never get again like Sydney.

        The SFS on the other hand is unjustifiable.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am
          Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          Hold on a moment. Some of the most iconic stadiums in Football are ex-Olympic stadiums that have an athletics track around them.

          These include:

          – the Olympiastadion in Berlin, which hosted the Finale of World Cup 2006 and is home for the DFB Pokal Finals.
          – Stadio Olimpico in Rome
          – Hampden Park, Glasgow
          – pretty sure the old Wembley Stadium had an aths track also

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:48am
            Perry Bridge said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report


            And how many FIFA WC ‘grand/major’ Final have been decided at such venues?

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 12:16pm
              spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              All but glasgow.

              Sorry, am I missing the point here?

          • December 8th 2017 @ 12:32pm
            lesterlike said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

            I’ve been to Hampden many many times to watch countless Internationals and Cup Games and frankly I couldn’t care how iconic it is, it is still a dump for watching Football and most Scottish Football fans would rather see it abandoned when the SFA lease runs out.

            I’ve also been to the Olympiastadion to watch Hertha Berlin and I have to say, even with the track it’s still a far superior ground as the seats in the higher tiers were not set miles back like at homebush.

            Maybe if ANZ wasn’t such a hatchet job in the first place and had the same steep stands and quality facilities then it wouldn’t need to be reconfigured. Or even better, they could have planned from day 1 to reconfigure the stadium into a shape that will actually be suitable for the cities main sports.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm
            j,binnie said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            Nemesis – If you want to highlight the folly of stadium design and use, you need look no further than the commonwealth games stadium built in Brisbane.
            At a cost of $8 millions the stadium was built in 1977 to suit the expected capacity crowd on opening and closing days of the 1982 games where 60,000 people were expected.
            Someone in the design team decided that a lap had to measure 400 metres and so ,despite 2 relayings of the track, pre-games, that “idea” was carried out.
            Result – The grassed area in the middle was not big enough to have any international football,rugby league ,or rugby union matches to be played. I kid you not.
            Since then more millions have been poured into the stadium ,another grandstand added ,huge TV replay screens added and the name changed to the Queensland Athletic Centre.,
            The capacity has been reduced to 48,000 but if you ask when it was last “sold out” you would have to look at rock concerts or go back to the time when the Brisbane Broncos were forced to use the ground ,using false grass to “extend “the corners.
            The post games record crowd was set at 59,000 when the 1997 Rugby league grand final was played there.
            Since those “heady’ days” it would be doubtful if ever a 5000 crowd has been in attendance for an athletic’s meet. Bring the QE11, Stadium Brisbane up on the internet and you will see a magnificent venue that has to all intents and purposes been lying unused for the last 17 years.
            Maybe Fitzsimmons has a point when one considers the fate of this stadium and his own code’s Ballymore Stadium ,home of the Queensland Reds , and another venue lying unused and wasting away.. Cheers jb.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 5:06pm
              Lionheart said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

              I do recall crowds of 70K during those Broncos years.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 9:16am
      Farmer said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      NRL have hijacked the decision making process. Their average crowds in Sydney are 15K.
      Renovate rather than demolition.
      What about AFL and GWS. The current capacity of the Showground is about 20K. Where do they play once crowds start averaging 25K-30K.
      The new Parramatta Stadium will provide state of the art capacity of 40k for rectangular sports.
      The NSW Government is careless with money.
      If NRL want it, let them pay for it – like AFL did at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 9:55am
        jamesb said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        “The NRL have hijacked the decision making process.”

        Last year then NSW Premier Mike Baird announced $1.6 billion for upgrade or rebuild of the three stadiums. Since then NSW has had a change of Premier.And most of the loud noises over the last 12 months have come from Stuart Ayres, and the SCG Trust which includes figures like Tony Shepherd.

        Ayres has close ties with the SCG Trust, while Shepherd is also GWS chairman. The SCG Trust desperately wanted the SFS to be done first fearing that it is a death trap.

        There is a theory that the reason why the SFS needs to be done first is to delay or prevent ANZ stadium from becoming permantely rectangular. And with Shepherd on board, I am sure he privately he wants ANZ to remain as it is so that his club GWS can still use it for a finals game.

        Theres too much conflict of interest. And when that happens, greed takes over, and common sense gets thrown out the window.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 11:18am
        RandyM said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

        haha so its only a matter of time before GWS start averaging 25-30k but NRL and A League clubs have no potential for growth.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm
          clipper said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          Don’t think there is much chance of GWS needing a bigger stadium anytime soon, but here’s the rub – their crowds are on the way up (albeit slowly) while NRL crowds are in continual decline – 7% last year.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 1:53pm
            Mike said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

            NRL crowds were down less than 2% last year. I predict next year they will increase due to better scheduling. If you are going to make an argument you must get your facts right.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 5:30pm
              duecer said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

              The overall NRL crowds numbers were down 2.2% – it would be interesting to find the actual Sydney totals – would they be closer to clipper’s 7%? It would also be different if all the big teams starting performing again.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 3:07pm
            Cathar Treize said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

            Plus Clipper you’re believing GWS crowd announcements LOL

      • December 8th 2017 @ 12:59pm
        Post_hoc said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

        Parramatta will be 30K, not 40K, the current capacity of the Showground is 25K, the Giants held a major semifinal there last year and got 14,800 people. So comeback in 30 years if the GWS still exist and we can chat.

        So how much did the AFL pay for the land that etihad is built on?

        • December 8th 2017 @ 2:30pm
          Christo the Daddyo said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

          The Thunder sell out (or close to) most of their home games don’t they?

          • December 8th 2017 @ 2:36pm
            Post_hoc said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

            I don’t know, I don’t watch BBL, but not sure of your point?

    • December 8th 2017 @ 9:19am
      chris said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      We need a world class rectangular stadium NOW.
      If the govt is willing to cough up some dough for something we can actually use then lets support it.
      Whether both grounds need refurbs or if its cheaper to start again, I am not privvy to those costings.
      This from Richard Hinds this morning…

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 9:53am
        spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        No you aren’t privy to those costings – but you should be.

        We (at least us NSW people) have a right to see them before a decision of this magnitude is made.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 11:00am
        valhalla said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        thought richard hinds was an afl stooge ….. or did i read that on an nrl post

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 11:11am
          spruce moose said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

          He’s actually just a good old fashioned sports writer. A jack of all trades, master of none. Does his research, and has obvious passion for his craft.

          He doesn’t buy into the tomfoolery of ‘allegiance’.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 11:59am
        pete4 said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        I reckon Cronulla and Campbelltown are firming as the next 2 expansion clubs in the A-League

        • December 8th 2017 @ 4:16pm
          marcel said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

          Translation : ” Campbelltown Mayor desperate to rent his expensive to maintain stadium to…someone””

      • December 8th 2017 @ 2:31pm
        Christo the Daddyo said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

        What does “world class” actually mean?

        • December 8th 2017 @ 2:44pm
          Nemesis said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          It’s pretty self-explanatory.

          It’s the level of quality that matches the best in the world.

          One thing for sure… if you’ve never had your quality tested outside your country you are not, and you never will be, “world class”.

      • Columnist

        December 8th 2017 @ 4:44pm
        Mike Tuckerman said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

        Do you guys ever get on the ABC website and post links to my columns over there?