26 March 2022

Focus on locals: ACT Government backs teams not tournaments

| Tim Gavel
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Brumbies at Canberra Stadium

The funding to the Raiders and Brumbies signals a targeted commitment to Canberra sporting teams by ACT Government. Photo: Jennifer Andrew.

ACT Government funding commitments to the Raiders and the Brumbies reinforce the focus on supporting local teams instead of bidding for major sports events.

The Raiders’ five-year deal with the ACT Government, worth $13 million, equates to $2.6 million a season. This means each home game at Canberra Stadium is worth around $210,000 to the club.

The Brumbies’ $3.5 million deal over two years equates to $250,000 for each home game.

Raiders fans

The Raiders’ five-year funding deal with the ACT Government equates to around $210,000 for each home game at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

The Raiders deal is more valuable each season because the club plays more home games at Canberra Stadium than the Brumbies.

A feature of the Raiders’ and Brumbies’ deals is the provision for women’s teams in the overall package.

READ MORE For the first time, Brumbies men’s and women’s teams sport the same major sponsor

The Brumbies already have a Super W side with players currently not paid. However, club sponsor, Ray White Canberra, does provide support to the Brumbies Super W team.

The Raiders are looking to put a team in the NRLW in 2023.

You would imagine the ACT Government would be keeping a close eye on the allocation of dollars to the women’s programs.

GWS Giants playing at Manuka Oval

GWS Giants at Manuka Oval. Photo: File.

The GWS deal to play at Manuka is expected to be similar in terms of the government’s financial commitment for each game played.

It will be interesting to see if the GWS deal also involves an allocation for the AFLW team.

There is also the continued push for an A-League Men’s team for Canberra, although one of the bidding groups has been linked with the Central Coast Mariners.

UC Caps playing at the AIS Arena

The UC Capitals in 2019 playing against the Adelaide Lightning at the AIS Arena. Photo: Jennifer Andrew.

There is National League team funding for the UC Capitals and Canberra United.

The Brumbies and the Raiders deals are interesting and seem to indicate a specific direction from the ACT Government.

The five-year deal for the Raiders to play at Canberra Stadium indicates that there will be no movement in the short to medium term on a new stadium.

READ ALSO Candidates take a stand as sporting facilities become pivotal in Senate race

The funding also signals a targeted commitment to Canberra sporting teams rather than getting into bidding wars with other states for major sporting events.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said as much when announcing the Brumbies funding.

“The ACT Government places the long-term viability of the club and Super Rugby in Canberra as our most significant professional rugby priority, and we look forward to continuing supporting the club beyond this agreement.”

Sarah Groves training with Canberra United women's side

Sarah Groves, a midfielder for Canberra United. Photo: Supplied

This is a pointed reference to the fact that the ACT Government has opted against paying big money to be a venue for the proposed 2027 Rugby World Cup bid.

It was the same for the 2023 Women’s Football World Cup.

The line has been drawn in the sand. Canberra won’t be paying over the odds to attract major sporting events.

It appears that if national sporting organisations are keen to expand their footprint with major events in Canberra, or express a desire to play in the national capital, there won’t be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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Smack bang in the middle of NRL land. Does anyone even watch the AFL we pay though the nose for?

Hopefully they would throw something into the pot if the CBR BRAVE Ice Hockey team made the AIHL Final and it was to be played in Canberra..BUT they’d have to build the oft promised but never delivered Ice Sports Centre first. They could also throw in something to promote the CANBERRA CAVALRY to promote a Final held out at Narrabundah. But alas they’ll never be able to do anything regarding one of Australia’s biggest participation sports BASKETBALL. years of neglect by the ACT Government has resulted in the lack of any facility capable of holding a national tournament or Final of any import. So bad is the neglect that kids are so bereft of court space that they have to play as late as 10pm to fit a game in.

Vinson1Bernie1:24 pm 27 Mar 22

So how does that line up with the SOO womens game in June in Canberra ?? One assum,e they paid something for that

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