10 July 2023

Probing the polls: Frosty days and pipe dreams - is a new stadium at Bruce really happening?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Canberra stadium

Will there be a new stadium at Bruce by 2033? Photo: Supplied.

Winter has arrived with a vengeance, bringing with it freezing nights, sparkling days and one of the coldest mornings recorded in Canberra for years.

But is it for everyone? And are you a true Canberran if you can’t stand the cold? Opinions were evenly divided when we posed the question in last week’s poll.

We asked Do you like the cold weather? 706 readers voted.

Your choices to vote were: No, I’m like a lizard, I need the heat. This attracted 49% per cent of the total, or 343 votes.

Alternatively, you could choose to vote Bring it on! I love a cracking cold day with a bracing frost. This attracted 51 per cent of the total, or 363 votes.

This week, we’re wondering whether you think Canberra will ever get a new stadium.

READ ALSO Plans for new 30,000 seat stadium in AIS precinct; combined entertainment, convention centre in city

There was great excitement last week after the ACT Government and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) announced a memorandum of understanding on plans for a new stadium – but in the old location at Bruce. A sparkling new precinct is promised with all bells and whistles.

According to the announcement, the ACT will have a new 30,000-seat rectangular stadium within a decade, pending investigation of three options, including a new build on a different site in the precinct that would enable the current stadium to operate while the new stadium is being built; demolition of the existing stadium and the construction of a new stadium on the same site; or staged, significant upgrades to the existing stadium.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has consistently ruled out a major stadium in the city but says the deal will be sweetened with a 7500-seat entertainment and convention centre in Civic.

But will the new stadium ever materialise? Or is this another City to the Lake long-term dream, perhaps mostly intended to stave off criticism of the Canberra Theatre investment?

The government says there’s no room elsewhere (although EPIC is a possible fallback site), but is Bruce still the right place for it?

READ ALSO PODCAST: The Hoot on Territory rights, a new stadium and our very own Monopoly board

Michelle Fisher wrote: “I live on the southside and would prefer something more central however I do travel to Sydney for events and the precinct around Homebush Stadium does create a better atmosphere these days. If I could access it through light rail that would be better – that is also part of the trip to Sydney for concerts. It adds to the atmosphere/excitement”.

But Anthony Bryant said: “Bruce is a horrible place to put a new stadium. Access is terrible and nowhere in walking distance to go out after games. Get with the times and build a new one where the trams/buses can take you and you are able to kick on to bars and restaurants after the games”.

Our question this week is:

Do you believe we'll have a new stadium in Bruce by 2033?

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