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Liberals say EPIC stadium makes no sense, remain noncommittal to city venue

Lachlan Roberts 7 November 2019 52
James Milligan and Alistair Coe

James Milligan was noncommittal about whether or where the Canberra Liberals would build a new stadium if elected in 2020. Photo: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

The Canberra Liberals are adamant that a new stadium at Exhibition Park would merely replicate the current issues at the Bruce facility, but would not commit to building a new stadium in the city.

The ACT Government is still weighing up where to build a new indoor sports stadium, with the latest suggestion to build it in Mitchell.

Canberra Liberals spokesperson for Sport and Recreation James Milligan said the ACT Government’s EPIC proposal would just turn into another GIO Stadium.

“We have seen the Government backflip over their ideas for a new stadium and recently they announced that they will possibly build a stadium out at EPIC,” Mr Milligan said. “Building a stadium in EPIC would just replicate the issues that are currently experienced with GIO Stadium. It just doesn’t make sense.”

However, Mr Milligan was hesitant to declare his party’s position on whether or where it would build a new stadium if elected in 2020.

He said he had spoken to Federal Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck about the Commonwealth’s plan for the Australian Institute of Sport and GIO Stadium, which would, in turn, affect their next course of action.

“At the end of the day, if we build a new stadium or if we keep GIO, we need to ensure that we have people attending the game,” Mr Milligan said. “When looking at a new stadium, we need it to be a full experience for the family. It needs to be a whole experience and not just two hours for the football field.

“We also need to ensure that we have more than 24 games of content that we currently have at GIO. We need to have content every single week of the year to make sure it is a viable option and that the stadium can be used for a number of different things and not just sport.”

Site of recent Raiders and Brumbies games, Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium. Photo: Bankwest Stadium.

Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium has been a raging success. Photo: Bankwest Stadium.

If the Liberals were to build a stadium, Mr Milligan said they would follow in NSW footsteps and build a venue like Bankwest Stadium.

“Recently I was up in Paramatta and I had a tour through Bankwest,” he said. “It is an absolutely amazing stadium and what they have done there is build a stadium for the future. They haven’t built a stadium for the next five years, they have built a stadium for the next 30 years.

“There is great design out there for a new stadium and I think what we need to do is ask where can the stadium go, what can support that stadium and how can that stadium support other activities.”

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52 Responses to Liberals say EPIC stadium makes no sense, remain noncommittal to city venue
Kiriel Kiriel 2:20 pm 15 Jan 20

How can they say that Epic makes no sense? If we aren’t going to use the Institute of Sport lands, then Epic is the only spot that makes any sense at all! There is public transport to it, it is far enough out of the city that the noise from it won’t bother all that many people (especially if placed on the far side of the grounds).

But still, anything but the outright insanity of building it over the site of the Civic swimming pool.

James Hutchison James Hutchison 5:14 pm 14 Nov 19

In the city is the only place a new stadium should be built. It's not rocket science.

Ben Hall Ben Hall 11:00 am 13 Nov 19

Queanbeyan for sure

Doug Hearne Doug Hearne 7:59 pm 12 Nov 19

being an ex Canberra resident and now living on the Gold Coast my preferred site for new stadium would be as close to civic as possible if not upgrade the one where it is in Bruce

    Matt McAndrew Matt McAndrew 2:56 pm 13 Nov 19

    Doug Hearne still too far from light rail though lol

David Savage David Savage 5:57 pm 12 Nov 19

Civic needs revitalising it makes sense to build a new stadium in civic and incorporate a decent size conference centre which the Capital City needs it would be close to transport hotels shopping and Braddon nightlife Parliament etc etc

John Dillon John Dillon 2:12 pm 12 Nov 19

Build it in Tuggeranong and leave the Royal Canberra Showground alone.........waiting for bites in three two one.......

Heather Edwards Heather Edwards 5:43 pm 10 Nov 19

Why not Woden or Tuggeranong?

Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:15 am 10 Nov 19

“Redevelopment of Epic into a world class entertainment precinct. With hotels with restaurants/ cafes at street level, show style indoor auditoriums, multi level car park.”

Because Canberra is where it is geographically it can’t compete with “world class” projects like you have suggested. And the cost of such a development would rival that of the tram and would be just as useless. Barr just may do it, who knows?

Peter Paz Peter Paz 7:04 pm 09 Nov 19

Hmm. As Rome crumbled, the rulers still continued building coliseums to keep the general public amused and unaware of the disasters about to befall them.

Steve Wood Steve Wood 1:59 pm 09 Nov 19

Nothing wrong with Bruce.. build on off ramps from the gde into multi story carparks and a stadium like BankWest.. ffs

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 3:57 pm 09 Nov 19

    Which is great... Except building it out there, ensures only game day usage and poor return to the wider community. People will drive there, use your off ramp, then drive home and not spend money on external hospitality sources. It is a lot of money to spend on 20 games a year if it doesn't have other revenue sources and doesn't encourage wider economic spending.

Jim Donaldson Jim Donaldson 10:46 am 09 Nov 19

Probably right it makes no sense but they make so little sense themselves sitting on the fence

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 10:24 am 09 Nov 19

If it must be built build it near Glenloch Interchange. Plenty of land there, have a look at the map. 4kms from the city at the point roads from all of Canberra converge. Lake view build some infrastructure on the lake cafes boardwalk etc

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:51 am 10 Nov 19

    I can see the community receptivity plan already.

    “Football in the Forrest”.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:16 am 09 Nov 19

The “open air” stadium at Bruce is fine for the two rugby games and the occasional round ball game.

It tests the kicking skills of players. These skills are being lost because in the new enclosed type stadiums all they have to do is kick straight. The commentators also can’t comment on the swirling winds and how that will affect play. Enclosed stadiums should be banned.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 2:19 pm 09 Nov 19

    When I said “two rugby games” I meant the two codes; rugby union and rugby league which are played there regularly of course.

Jen Wright Jen Wright 9:11 am 09 Nov 19

Yep, makes no sense. Go to a new area and do it properly. Civic and Michell are dumb ideas.

Raelene Stanley Raelene Stanley 8:29 am 09 Nov 19

We don't need another stadium,total waste of money

Simon Wilson Simon Wilson 8:13 am 09 Nov 19

And this is why they won't be elected, again 🤣👏

Peter Evans Peter Evans 8:01 pm 08 Nov 19

Look at the new Parra and Townsville stadiums. They are close to city centers but have space around them unlike the propsed area in Civic. It would be a mess. Imagine cars parked thouhout Reid and Campbell. Parking ticket revenue will pay for it.

    Sher Young Sher Young 9:26 pm 08 Nov 19

    Peter Evans hmmm good point. Same issue with Manuka oval. They could add a multi level car park instead of another apartment tower. Barr is forcing us to use his tram

    Jim Hosie Jim Hosie 9:35 pm 08 Nov 19

    Peter Evans carpark under the stadium?

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 3:50 pm 09 Nov 19

    Except the overwhelming number of sporting events at CBR stadium are on evenings and weekends, when existing city parking is underutilised. Would it be easy? Nope, but manageable. Also, development of parking station in conjunction with the stadium would provide a revenue source to help with ongoing operational costs. Significant increases in shuttle services around town, would be beneficial for others.

    Having been to Bankwest, I'm not I agree with your assessment. It seemed a whole chunk of the crowd was walking back into the CBD or parked a while away. This of course is only my observation. As for Nth Qld, knowing someone who worked for the stadium, the existing stadium is on the outskirts where everyone drives, the new city stadium will not have the same ease of parking. It will be a cultural change... they did build it in the city to bring more people into town to spend money.

Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 7:35 pm 08 Nov 19

What about another trauma hospital??

Brad Miller Brad Miller 6:09 pm 08 Nov 19

If done right Epic stadium makes a lot of sense.

Redevelopment of Epic into a world class entertainment precinct. With hotels with restruants/ cafes at street level, show style indoor auditoriums, multi level car park.

The area would still be used for all the current events held there plus’s attract more events.

Access is much better than the city and train to the city or gungahlin.

It has 2 free way like roads either side of Mitchell that go South hassle free

    Nathan Burraston Nathan Burraston 8:03 pm 08 Nov 19

    Brad Miller any restaurant operators game on taking on a commercial lease for maybe 6 nights of trade in a year?

    Brad Miller Brad Miller 8:13 pm 08 Nov 19

    Nathan Burraston If done right and the precinct will attract business events to it

    A hotel with corporate rooms

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 3:34 pm 09 Nov 19

    I'm not sure what you're basing that on? A look at a sporting venue like Sydney Olympic Park shows the issues with stadiums built in isolation and then trying to add bars, hotels etc... It hasn't worked. A look around the country at the new stadiums that are proving successful, they are all walking distance to their respective cbds which have bars and restaurants. If you want a stadium where people just drive to the game and go home straight after, you may as well leave it at Bruce. If you want a stadium where some spectators visit local hospitality before or after a game, hence contributing to the wider economy, then it needs to be near those things.

    Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 11:03 am 10 Nov 19

    Where would the animals that are currently housed at EPIC during certain events, be housed in this new world class entertainment precinct?

    Brad Miller Brad Miller 11:32 am 10 Nov 19

    Gabriel Spacca hopefully a new modern stable area

    Brad Miller Brad Miller 8:28 pm 10 Nov 19

    Nathan Burraston McDonald’s seem to be doing ok in the the Epic area

    Justin Douglas Justin Douglas 9:30 pm 10 Nov 19

    Brad Miller why not Tuggeranong there’s 2 free way like roads that go north

    Brad Miller Brad Miller 9:31 pm 10 Nov 19

    Justin Douglas do you have particular location in mind?

    Justin Douglas Justin Douglas 9:37 pm 10 Nov 19

    Anywhere south of the lake, I’m just sick of Andrew Barr thinking Canberra only exists north of the lake

    Brad Miller Brad Miller 9:44 pm 10 Nov 19

    Justin Douglas I am certainly not opposed to any location south of the lake but no one has proposed a particular location to be considered. I have only heard of Civic pool, the current Bruce area, Turner residential park area & Epic. Of those 4 locations that have been put forward Epic has the most going for it from what I can see so far

Drew Reis Drew Reis 5:43 pm 08 Nov 19

Build the Stadium in the City where it belongs to create a vibrant city centre. Otherwise leave the stadium in Bruce. End the foolish games and release the architectural designs for the New City Stadium as a matter of priority, as planned and described in the following official video:

    Neil Hansen Neil Hansen 7:00 pm 08 Nov 19

    Drew Reis yea, the city stadium with all that parking for the south siders with no tram to get them there

    Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones 8:49 pm 08 Nov 19

    Utterly ludicrous to waste prime real estate in the CBD on an inward looking sporting structure. Who came up with this silly idea, and why is it being perpetuated?

    Drew Reis Drew Reis 7:39 am 09 Nov 19

    Jennifer Jones said no one ever... Try saying that to someone from Melbourne lol

    Drew Reis Drew Reis 7:54 am 09 Nov 19

    Neil Hansen perhaps build underground car parking since people are so adverse to structures in this city lol

    Drew Reis Drew Reis 7:57 am 09 Nov 19

    Kevin Thompson with a defeatist mindset, maybe not. However like Melbourne, I’m sure it’s possible...

    Parks Way is planned to be put underground so there will be plenty of room on the Civic Pool site...

    Debbi Fluke Debbi Fluke 7:18 pm 09 Nov 19

    Drew Reis Melbourne has a MUCH better public transport system than we do. You either need the parking or you need the transport - without either it will fail

    Drew Reis Drew Reis 8:50 pm 09 Nov 19

    Debbi Fluke as mentioned to Neil Hansen, perhaps build underground car parking since people are so adverse to structures in this city lol

    Another note, Light Rail is actually being built to Woden as Stage 2b. There’s also parking there already. Park and ride the Light Rail from Woden to the City...

    Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones 5:48 pm 10 Nov 19

    Drew Reis great! Put the stadium in Woden!

    Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones 5:49 pm 10 Nov 19

    Drew Reis err, I did actually say it and I'm talking about the canberra stadium, to canberrans, aren't I.

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