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AAMI Stadium Holds Back South Australian Clubs

AAMI Stadium Holds Back South Australian Clubs
February 24, 2010

The recent rejection by the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) of a merger proposal between Port Adelaide Power and its sister club the Port Magpies has shone light on how South Australia's AFL clubs are falling behind their AFL counterparts in income generation at Adelaide's AAMI Stadium.

The merger plans, pursued by Port Adelaide and the Port Magpies, was seen as a means of shoring up their shaky finances.

However, in explaining the SA Football Commission's financial reasoning for blocking the merger, it has emerged what Port Power and the Adelaide Crows are falling behind their AFL counterparts by playing at the West Lakes venue.

Port's cut of gate takings is easily the worst in the league. The club's income is $4.6 million short of the average in stadia returns which have been boosted for the Victorian-based clubs with new deals at the MCG and Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile the Crows are $2.4 million behind, despite regularly selling out the 51,515-seat AAMI Stadium.

Port last season, when it averaged 24,349 fans to its 11 games at AAMI Stadium, generated almost $12 million in game-days revenue for the SANFL, according to figures published in Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser. But this income is not sufficient to generate an operating profit for the Power which recorded a $2.9 million trading loss last year.

Asked if Port would be profitable if it had the same deal as a low-attendance club such as North Melbourne had at Etihad Stadium, Power President Brett Duncanson told The Advertiser "yes, we'd certainly get up to the industry average on stadia return ... we're $4.6 million behind that average. Add that to our bottom line, we are viable. They're the figures. That is why the stadium debate was raised last year."

Adelaide Chief Executive Steven Trigg also conceded his strongly supported club also was "hurting" from its deal at AAMI Stadium where (unlike the Crows' replica of West Coast in Perth) the Crows do not simply pay an annual rental fee and then keep all the income generated by their AFL home games.

But more baffling in Adelaide's case is how the Crows and Power are seeking to grab back their money from a football partner rather than from a government or corporate body as was the case for the Victorian clubs at the MCG and Etihad Stadium.

"Your point is well made - and it is a key issue we, with the Power and SANFL, are working hard on," said Trigg, emphasising diplomacy to not offend the SANFL.

"Regardless of where the stadium debate ends (with the AFL staying at AAMI Stadium or moving to Adelaide Oval), we are at AAMI Stadium for a long time yet. So we still have some work to do on a better stadium deal."

Port Adelaide have subsequently announced plans to cover up empty seats during its home games at AAMI Stadium this season, saying it will create a better atmosphere for fans.

It will drape huge banners in club colours over 12 areas of seating to reduce venue capacity to just over 40,000.

Port Power Chief Executive Mark Haysman says the change is among several the club will make to try to create a better atmosphere, stating "we think the seat bay covers is a great way to add a new dimension to ... our home ground and really ramp up the sense of occasion when Port Adelaide play here."

3rd December 2009 - AFL TO MOVE TO REDEVELOPED 50,000-SEAT ADELAIDE OVAL

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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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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