Melbourne Super-14 venue a chance

Austadiums   |  Sunday 17th October 2004
The Victorian Government has thrown its weight behind Melbourne's bid for the fourth Australian team in an expanded Super 14 competition by exploring the viability of developing a "boutique" venue for rectangular-field football codes.

Justin Madden, the Sport Minister, said the Government was preparing an economic impact study into the development of a world-class, 25,000-seat stadium that would cater for elite rugby union, rugby league and soccer teams in Melbourne.

He said the Government's commitment would considerably strengthen the Victorian Rugby Union's attempts to win the nationwide battle to host the Super 14 team.

Madden said the decision would ease doubts about what he saw as the only weakness in an otherwise compelling Victorian case. "We think we've got all of the other competitive edges relatively covered," he said. "The positioning (of the bid) is pretty good, but the question mark is around venues.

"We think the opportunity is there to do something significant if all the indicators show it is feasible, and the impact is there and the business case is a legitimate one.

"That's what the discussions certainly are focusing on at the moment, as to what value the Government can bring to venue options and training-venue options."

Madden said the study would look to cover "a gap in the market" between the 55,000-seat Telstra Dome and the "tired" facilities available at the 17,000-seat Olympic Park and soccer's Bob Jane Stadium.

The Government will consider former VFL/AFL venues such as Punt Road Oval and Optus Oval in its study, but it is likely the most viable option will be Olympic Park, which has been home to Melbourne Storm for all but one season since 1998.

The Storm's new chief executive, Brian Waldron, says the redevelopment of Olympic Park is critical to the club's ambition to improve its share of the Melbourne market, and he has welcomed the potential involvement of a Victorian Super 14 team and a new Melbourne-based premier league soccer team in pushing the cause.

Although Madden would not comment on the relative strength of the case for redeveloping Olympic Park, he said the combined commitment of the rugby codes and soccer could prove pivotal. "I see this as a great opportunity to bring together a critical mass to enhance what we already do in the state, and that particularly provides a critical mass that might support a business case for the development of a boutique stadium that would support the likes of Super 14 and other sports that would use that facility," he said.

Madden said the Government would be reviewing the means by which it could add further weight to the VRU's submission. The Australian Rugby Union is expected to offer a formal invitation early this week for parties to submit their cases. The winning bid is expected to be announced in early December.

Melbourne is believed to be in a two-way battle with Perth, although sources indicated a syndicate from the NSW Central Coast, headed by advertising man John Singleton, is creating interest.

Madden said the Government was determined that the VRU bid was seen by the ARU as very much a bid by the state, not just the rugby organisation.
AAMI Park

More News

STADIUMS

AUS CAPITAL TERRITORY Canberra
NEW SOUTH WALES Sydney Newcastle
NORTHERN TERRITORY Darwin
QUEENSLAND Brisbane Gold Coast
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Adelaide
TASMANIA Hobart Launceston
VICTORIA Melbourne Geelong
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Perth
NEW ZEALAND Wellington Auckland

SPORT

AUS FOOTBALL AFL AFLW P/S
RUGBY LEAGUE NRL Trials
FOOTBALL A-League W-League FFA Cup
BASKETBALL NBL WNBL
RUGBY UNION Super Rugby NRC
CRICKET Tests ODI's BBL Sheffield ODD
BASEBALL ABL
GOLF HORSE RACING MOTOR SPORT NETBALL TENNIS OTHER SPORTS
Youfoodz
The Victorian Government has thrown its weight behind Melbourne's bid for the fourth Australian team in an expanded Super 14 competition by exploring the viability of developing a "boutique" venue for rectangular-field football codes.
The Austadiums website is made possible by displaying some advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker, whitelist us, or you can donate to us here.