The Waratahs’ stadium dilemma

Steve Winter Roar Rookie

By Steve Winter, Steve Winter is a Roar Rookie

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    On Saturday night, I revisited the SCG to see rugby for the first time in ages. Well done on the promotion of the heritage of the NSW-Queensland game, but – and a big but – the SCG is simply outdated for rugby.

    I remember the old sports ground, which was demolished to build Allianz. I remember watching Ken Catchpole being pulled apart by a man in black. I remember the Springboks in the smoke of the protest Tests.

    But it’s silly to be so far from the action when other options are available and, when sitting in the Bill O’Reilly stand, the TV replay happens on an old 21-inch job well over 100 metres away.

    One wag commented it was nice the SCG had updated from black and white.

    There were plenty of audible grumbles and comments about the primitive nature of the SCG.

    If the SCG Trust wants to demolish a stadium and rebuild, this is the one – not Allianz – which is in pretty good nick and really only wants for a roof.

    I’m not sure where the Waratahs hierarchy currently sits regarding the proposal to demolish Allianz, but if the plan is to relocate to the SCG, sorry but I’m not coming.

    The Waratahs cleverly listened to their fans and moved games from the Olympic stadium to Allianz a few years ago. They will lose a fair chunk of their membership base if they move from Allianz. And it could be that no amount of compensation will cover that loss.

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • April 15th 2018 @ 12:43pm
      Reverse Wheel said | April 15th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      I liked the romance of the scg last night, but you’re right, the viewing was poor. We were on halfway about 10 rows back and the hump plus the advertising hoardings meant we had no idea where the sidelines were. It felt like we were lower than the field. Plus we were 50m away from the action.

      Not a lot of good options for the tahs during the rebuild though. The north shore & eastern suburbs crew have already shown an unwillingness to travel west to homebush or parra. So if keeping it in Sydney you end up at the scg or north sydney or brookvale or something. Or you take it on the road to central coast, Newcastle, the country etc, but then you really do lose contact with your sydney base.

      • April 15th 2018 @ 4:54pm
        P2R2 said | April 15th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

        The Tahs think Sydney is the base…well it might be but the Burbs and the outer-regions are just as important…look at what the NZ franchises do….they take it to the provinces….works wonderfully…but the Tahs cant bear to be away from their latte drinkers….

        • April 15th 2018 @ 8:06pm
          Reverse Wheel said | April 15th 2018 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

          I don’t think it’s a worthwhile comparison. The NSW and NZ rugby landscapes are chalk and cheese.

          • April 16th 2018 @ 1:29pm
            Bakkies said | April 16th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            So you are saying that it is not worth taking games to Gosford, Newcastle and Wollongong?

            • April 17th 2018 @ 2:22pm
              Boz said | April 17th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

              As a Rugby League supporter, I would be surprised if the Tahs couldn’t sell out 2 games in the bigger towns of country NSW. Perhaps 1 match in Tamworth, and another in Orange?

    • April 15th 2018 @ 1:47pm
      Malo said | April 15th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

      Concord oval

      • April 15th 2018 @ 2:53pm
        ThugbyFab said | April 15th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

        Pretty good idea Malo but . I was also at the SCG last night and it was horrible. Any play on the other side or half from where we sat and we may have well been in Afghanistan. People were so far away from the players there was zero crowd reaction (unless TN got the ball). No way will I go there again. In addition, as others have said, the ground surface at the SCG would be a mess fitting in Rugby, League and AFL all at the ground.

        The Tahs have 7-8 home matches per season; sadly these days most of them get less than 18,000 and Concord Oval can fit that many. If Rugby wants to connect to the Western suburbs there here it its chance. What the Tahs lose in snob Eastern or Northern suburbs types not rocking up, the Tahs will make up in paying no rent (NSWRU owns Concord Oval) and payments from the government. Concord’s biggest problem is it’s a long walk from any rail service, amenties at the ground are dire, there are few places to go before or after the match and parking could be a problem if a large crowd all drove there.

        For mine, a better idea would be to relocate to North Sydney Oval. Its a beautiful ground, close to the city and rail and plenty of pubs and restaurants around for before and afters. It can also hold about 20,000 people maximum but again parking would be a problem (I always go by train so no worries). They also don’t antagonise/lose their base support who mostly live nearby.

        They could also throw a game or two at Newcastle, which has a thriving rugby community in the area. Newcastle has more support than Gosford or the Gong but the Tahs could play a game or two at those locations over the 4 year period also. But if the Tahs do go out of Sydney, they have to extensively advertise in that area. Unlike the NRC where most locals don’t even know the match is on.

        • April 15th 2018 @ 3:41pm
          Malo said | April 15th 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

          Yeah I agree , north Sydney is great but does it hold enough. Your right concord oval is a bit awkward though it is on parramatta rd

          • April 15th 2018 @ 5:03pm
            Bakkies said | April 15th 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

            Another issue is the lights. How often have the lights been used for sporting fixtures at North Sydney Oval since the Bears were booted out?

    • April 15th 2018 @ 2:05pm
      Big Daddy said | April 15th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

      But it’s NSW not sydney.
      I believe take it to Newcastle,Gosford and Wollongong.
      If they want the game to grow you have to take it to the people.

      • April 15th 2018 @ 8:37pm
        Rugby Tragic Too said | April 15th 2018 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

        or the people can come to the capital city of NSW which is easily attainable by train.

        • April 15th 2018 @ 9:14pm
          Bakkies said | April 15th 2018 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

          They’re the NSW Waratahs not the north and eastern Sydney Waratahs.

    • April 15th 2018 @ 2:10pm
      Dean said | April 15th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

      The SCG is actually a great stadium for watching oval field sports like cricket and AFL. But not rugby.

      If the SFS is closed for rebuilding it’s hard to see the SCG coping with all the Tahs, Swans & Roosters home games, given they all have pretty similar seasons. They will need alternative grounds anyway, purely from a capacity point of view.

    • Roar Guru

      April 15th 2018 @ 2:29pm
      Cadfael said | April 15th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

      I agree with BD. Bring the games ooooout to the people. Sure youy won’t get big crowds (we hav en’t been getting them for a while anyway). WIN at Wollongong, Newcaastle other larger country centres like Wagga, Tamworth, Dubbo.Get the game to the country areas.

      I thought the ABs ripped Catchpole apart at the SCG.

      • April 15th 2018 @ 2:31pm
        Bakkies said | April 15th 2018 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

        They won’t take them to Wagga and Albury as that is Brumbies’ territory.

        • Roar Guru

          April 15th 2018 @ 7:44pm
          Cadfael said | April 15th 2018 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

          Pity about that but all the Southern Inland teams are country NSW.

          • April 15th 2018 @ 9:16pm
            Bakkies said | April 15th 2018 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

            Not in terms of Rugby since 2006.

            • Roar Guru

              April 16th 2018 @ 11:20am
              Cadfael said | April 16th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

              All the teams in Southern Inland are in NSW regardless of the Brumbies taling over.

              • April 16th 2018 @ 1:30pm
                Bakkies said | April 16th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                They will need approval from the Brumbies to host games in their jurisdiction.

    • April 15th 2018 @ 2:43pm
      Morsie said | April 15th 2018 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

      North Sydney Oval? Although still an oval its not as big as the SCG.

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