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$350 million upgrade planned for Adelaide Oval
In a move designed to secure AFL matches from 2014 and FIFA World Cup fixtures, the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) has revealed a $350 million plan to upgrade the Adelaide Oval.
The SACA, the South Australian National Football League and the Australian Football League (AFL) are now set to discuss consolidating Adelaide Oval as a mutually beneficial, multipurpose venue. SACA Chief Executive Mike Deare told Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser that a redeveloped Bradman
Stand with 16,000 seats was the key to increasing capacity to the 45,000-seat figure required to host AFL and international sporting events.
Deare explained that "there has been a meeting of minds between the SANFL, AFL and SACA that we should jointly explore what might be in the best interests of us all by future development of Adelaide Oval."
AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou, who is understood to have had kick-started the process last year, recently stated "the preliminary estimates say that we are probably talking in the vicinity of $350 million to $400 million to take the stadium up to 45,000 capacity.
"The SACA, SANFL and AFL have the capacity, I believe, to deliver that sort of venue for the benefit of South Australia."
Recent years have seen considerable debate over an apparent need for Adelaide to have a world class, city-based stadium with various proposals being advanced.
Crucially, plans to upgrade the Adelaide Oval appear to have the backing of both the AFL and Football Federation Australia (FFA), who would want Adelaide to be a host city for a successful bid for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.
FFA spokeswoman Bonita Mersiades has explained that "SACA has briefed senior FFA representatives on their plans for Adelaide Oval, and we have provided preliminary feedback on the technical requirements to ensure a venue is FIFA World Cup-compliant."
Crucially Government support for an upgraded Adelaide Oval would be considerably less than what had been proposed for a new stadium on the city's North Terrace.
South Australia Treasurer Kevin Foley has already raised the possibility of switching $100 million for a proposed refurbishment of unpopular AAMI Stadium to Adelaide Oval with Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis responsible for securing extra investment in Canberra.
Funds from a full or partial sale of AAMI Stadium might also be used in the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval, with SACA potentially ceding control of Adelaide Oval and share the venue with the SANFL.
Deare acknowledges there were hurdles to jump before the SANFL and the SACA again cohabit, along with Crows and Power games played at Adelaide Oval.
Yet the risk of working independently would have serious repercussions, Deare explaining that âworking with two venues for a city of Adelaide's size doesn't work.
"The Commonwealth and the State have indicated they are ready to help, provided we come back to them with the right sort of business plan."
Deare adds that with a redeveloped Adelaide Oval the "whole of SA wins, the city gets a venue which could host major World Cup cricket and soccer and the Commonwealth Games."
Images: Adelaide Oval (top) and Frank Lowy (below).
4th November 2009 - NOT ENOUGH VENUES FOR BUSY FESTIVAL STATE
12th August 2009 - $350 MILLION UPGRADE PLANNED FOR ADELAIDE OVAL
16th June 2019 - LOWY TALKS UP AUSTRALIA’S WORLD CUP BID PROSPECTS
3rd February 2009 - AUSTRALIA ENTERS RACE FOR FIFA WORLD CUP
22nd December 2008 - AAMI STADIUM UPGRADE TO PRESS ON DESPITE FUNDING CUT
20th February 2008 - NEW STADIUM FOR ADELAIDE?
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