How yet another delay for new stadium will impact Raiders, Brumbies and potential A-League team in Canberra

Tim Gavel 12 October 2021 45
GIO Stadium

GIO Stadium will be home to the Canberra Raiders and Brumbies for the foreseeable future after the ACT Government announced there will be no moves to build a new facility in Civic until at least later this decade. Photo: File.

Confirmation from the ACT Government that there will be no work on a proposed indoor sports stadium in Civic – potentially on the site of Canberra Olympic Pool – until later this decade should come as no surprise.

There has been increasing speculation about budget pressures associated with COVID-19. There is also the expansion of Canberra Hospital and the second stage of light rail, on top of previous issues impacting the ACT economy such as Mr Fluffy and the Black Summer bushfires.

Now with confirmation that nothing is likely to happen until at least the late 2020s, what does it mean for Canberra’s football teams?

The general consensus is that GIO Stadium, in Bruce, is well and truly passed its use-by date. It is especially evident when comparisons are made with other stadiums around Australia.

With improvements being made to Brookvale Oval, home to NRL club Manly Sea Eagles, and the likelihood that a number of Sydney clubs will play home games at the new stadium at Moore Park, the Canberra Raiders are fast becoming the poor cousins in the NRL.

READ ALSO: The legacy of Tim Sheens endures, 25 years after his departure from the Raiders

This is even more evident given the weather conditions that Canberra sporting fans experience in winter.

I doubt playing premiership games at Seiffert Oval, in Queanbeyan, is an option, but there is the possibility of the Raiders playing more games in country areas such as Wagga Wagga, where the club will take one home game next season.

If taking games to the country continues to be a success, the Raiders could play more than one game a season there.

The Brumbies have struggled financially to break even at GIO Stadium in the past couple of seasons.

Would it be more feasible to play some home games at Viking Park, in Wanniassa, where the costs of staging fixtures are significantly lower than GIO Stadium?

READ ALSO: Why Sia Soliola is the greatest clubman in the history of the Canberra Raiders

There has been radio silence on Canberra’s A-League bid, with little speculation in the past six months about the likelihood of the ACT securing a team.

Without an updated facility, it is unlikely the bid would get off the ground.

It’s a catch-22 situation for the Canberra A-League bid, with the government suggesting the city having an A-League team is important in any proposal to build a new stadium.

There have been plenty of curveballs with the stadium saga, including speculation that other locations for the stadium were being considered, including Exhibition Park. This speculation emerged well after Civic was deemed to be the logical site.

For the foreseeable future it will be a case of a continued forced relationship with GIO Stadium.

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45 Responses to How yet another delay for new stadium will impact Raiders, Brumbies and potential A-League team in Canberra
Alan Edwards Alan Edwards 8:31 am 20 Oct 21

wow, being 'impacted' by a stadium would really hurt. Affected, perhaps?

Deno Davis Deno Davis 9:21 pm 17 Oct 21

Besides the Woden Rams, Canberra has no good sporting teams anyway 💁🏽‍♂️

Gary Wight Gary Wight 8:35 pm 15 Oct 21

Good. There’s more important things than another stadium

Domenic Fabbo Domenic Fabbo 5:23 am 15 Oct 21

There are wants, then there are needs....

Phil Hopkins Phil Hopkins 5:17 am 15 Oct 21

Plenty of room at the current venue - why not use the foundations that were laid years ago and build the Southern Stand?

Albert Jacka Albert Jacka 9:30 pm 14 Oct 21

How narrow minded is this government. Canberra needs the new stadium built where the city pool is and to build a new purpose built convention / entertainment Center across the road in that dirt car park next to the new apartment construction site. This will give so much more life to the city

Sue Maloney Sue Maloney 8:39 pm 14 Oct 21

Short sighted..

Matt Brokenbrough Matt Brokenbrough 7:57 pm 14 Oct 21

Need an arena/indoor stadium first. The AIS Arena is gone so there's nothing for concerts or Basketball or Netball or Tennis. The A League Men has overlooked the ACT too many times despite a viable venue already built. It could do with a reno or replacement but I think an arena is needed more. Then pursue a return to the NBL, they'll actually take a chance on Canberra again like they're doing now with Hobart.

Adam Ciaccia Adam Ciaccia 7:09 pm 14 Oct 21

Government just blew 2 new stadiums locking us up for 9 weeks

Mick Johnson Mick Johnson 6:42 pm 14 Oct 21

wont happen until light rail is completed and monies recouped from the taxpayers

Sam Revill Sam Revill 6:23 pm 14 Oct 21

Brumbies should half the time at GIO with games at Viking Park.

Andrew Douglas Andrew Douglas 6:07 pm 14 Oct 21


Mark S Green Mark S Green 5:51 pm 14 Oct 21

Who is running the Government Labor or the Greens

Mick Watson Mick Watson 4:52 pm 14 Oct 21

go back to seffiet

Muzic Mike Muzic Mike 4:35 pm 14 Oct 21


Money could be spent better elsewhere.

Mathew Griffin Mathew Griffin 4:10 pm 14 Oct 21

get a new government.. stadium asap a must

Eric Tenthorey Eric Tenthorey 3:32 pm 14 Oct 21

Canberra stadium is fine. They need to do something with manuka oval tho. It's such a nice historic facility, but the facilities are just shocking. They try to host thousands of people at cricket matches when the food and other facilities are suitable for 100s. Ever since I went to an India Bangladesh world cup match I have avoided the place, sadly.

Justin Watson Justin Watson 3:07 pm 14 Oct 21

Look I want a Stadium, but over 50% of the ACT budget is health and education. Add to that still paying off Mr Fluffy debt and Covid and I get why its delayed. Also I daresay Nth Queensland got a new stadium with 200 million from the federal government and they are trying to get some federal funding to help which is not forthcoming. I'd hope before the next ACT election we'd have details on building a new stadium.

    Tramcar Trev Tramcar Trev 3:16 pm 14 Oct 21

    Justin Watson depends who gets in at the next federal election. If some porkbarreling has to be done or not.

Doug Hearne Doug Hearne 2:40 pm 14 Oct 21

Looks like Canberra are getting left behind with the local government they used to lead Race

Peter Bee Peter Bee 2:18 pm 14 Oct 21

Years delay in public houses fixes, a new stadium should not be a priority

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