Ricky Stuart’s stadium call keeps ball rolling for Civic facility

Tim Gavel 11 June 2019 44
Site of recent Raiders and Brumbies games, Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium. Photo: Bankwest Stadium.

Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium. Photo: Bankwest Stadium.

Will Ricky’s call be a game changer in the campaign for a new stadium in Civic, and could the removal of selected home games away from Canberra boost the Brumbies bottom line?

On the weekend, the Raiders and the Brumbies played games on consecutive nights, at a new stadium. It was, of course, at Parramatta Stadium against the Wests Tigers and the Waratahs.

If nothing else it provided both teams and Chief Minister Andrew Barr with first-hand insight into what might be possible with a new stadium in Canberra.

Plenty has to fall into place for that to happen, including a resolution on the future of the existing Canberra Stadium and the state of the ACT Government’s finances. Added to the mix is the need to ascertain the desire (or otherwise) of the Government to build a new stadium.

From my observation, the game changed a little over the weekend with Raiders coach Ricky Stuart publicly entering the campaign for a new stadium saying, as the nation’s capital, Canberra deserves it.

Ricky’s entry into the campaign makes things interesting, given his popularity and profile in Canberra through his football feats and his charity work.

Ricky’s comments also have the potential to move the proposal onto the radar of avid rugby league supporter, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who may have been reluctant to look at the proposal in the past because it was considered very much an ACT issue.

Funding for the new stadium in Townsville is evidence enough of the power of a football club, players and the community all campaigning together for the same outcome.

The benefits to Canberra will be enormous and not confined to spectator comfort. As we have seen with new stadiums around the world, it has the potential to transform the perception of a city.

Financially it will also boost the coffers of both the Brumbies and the Raiders through greater patronage. It could also help our next campaign for an A-League team.

In the case of the Brumbies, it needs to happen sooner rather later.

In the interim, one option for the Brumbies might be to move a couple of home games away from Canberra. This has been proposed in the past where the playing of a home game against the Waratahs would occur at the Olympic Stadium. The Brumbies would be paid a set amount for this move by the Olympic Stadium, a welcome boost to the Brumbies finances.

That horse appears to have bolted.

I believe the Brumbies should be looking farther afield. The team received ‘rock star’ support in Japan for the game against the Sunwolves. This could be the home-away game option for the Brumbies. Maybe low-audience drawing games against South African teams could be played in Tokyo.

With the Sunwolves exiting Super Rugby there will be a vacuum to meet the obvious demand. Some form of alliance with Japanese rugby is a possibility and moving some home games to Tokyo and Singapore could be of benefit financially to the Brumbies.

As previously indicated, the landscape continues to change on many fronts when it comes to Canberra sport.

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44 Responses to Ricky Stuart’s stadium call keeps ball rolling for Civic facility
googongcam googongcam 10:02 pm 21 Jun 19

Something similar to Bankwest in the city would be fantastic.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:01 am 22 Jun 19

    We would have to triple Canberra’s population to support anything like that. The existing stadium at Bruce is very under-utilised already.

    Whatever way you look at it there is no business case for another stadium in Canberra.

Sam Diggins Sam Diggins 9:48 am 18 Jun 19

We can’t even sell out the stadium we have now. Why bother with a second one.

David Flannery David Flannery 5:36 pm 13 Jun 19

Would the Parramatta Stadium fit onto our currently proposed Constitution Ave (Civic swimming pool and carpark) site? I suspect not!

Dory Johns Dory Johns 3:52 pm 13 Jun 19


Dory Johns Dory Johns 3:52 pm 13 Jun 19

Taking away the public Civic Pool to put in a stadium for professional footballers.

michael quirk michael quirk 2:59 pm 12 Jun 19

Stadium needs to stack up against other needs especially health. Will the ACT ever again have evidenced based planning? Trams, beer and circuses are the fundamentals of Emperor Barr’s reign.

2902 2902 2:22 pm 12 Jun 19

Why not build it on the existing Epic Park site, tram goes past there so no need to drive!

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 4:10 pm 12 Jun 19

    You’re half-right! The tram does go past there but it doesn’t stop.

Andrew Webber Andrew Webber 2:12 pm 12 Jun 19

The Ricky Stuart Stadium 😄😄😄

Maria Greene Maria Greene 2:06 pm 12 Jun 19

What we need is much higher rates to pay for people's pet projects.

Gilavon Gilavon 1:25 pm 12 Jun 19

Not necessary, complete waste of money and there’s insufficient space. Upgrade Bruce. Barr and Stuart so obsessed with spending lots of other people’s money.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:54 am 12 Jun 19

“The benefits to Canberra will be enormous and not confined to spectator comfort. As we have seen with new stadiums around the world, it has the potential to transform the perception of a city.”

This is the same sort of babble that we hear about everything that certain people in Canberra espouse when there are new horizons to conquer. It may give some people a warm feeling but in no way will “enormous benefits” be bestowed on me or my family and do people really care about “perceptions of a city”?

I’ve travelled the world a fair bit and I have never sought out the stadiums in any city I have visited to see how they compare.

    waldorf waldorf 2:22 pm 28 Aug 19

    Well you are missing out then. Do yourself a favour and go to a Premier League match at Wembley, or baseball game at Yankee stadium. It might change your perspective.

JS9 JS9 9:05 am 12 Jun 19

Keep living the pipe dream people. Unless the current site is sold to the ACT for a nominal amount and then allowed to be sold off for development, I can’t see a new stadium.

And as always, its fascinating to watch the sporting codes constantly waffling on about wanting better facilities, but never wanting to put even a nominal contribution in towards it… they are amazing however getting the rest of the community to pay for facilities for which they are the primary beneficiary.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:42 am 12 Jun 19

Who needs to go to a live match on a cold and wet night where you you are gouged on parking (assuming it is available) and food and drink (you can’t take your own like you can do in the movie theatres).

Technology provides the alternative with more and more live HD coverage where you can see all the game with replays etc. And it’s a lot cheaper.

A new stadium in Canberra is more about someone’s “me too” ego than anything else.

    steveu steveu 9:28 am 12 Jun 19

    It is safe to say that it will be extremely difficult to drive to a stadium in civic. Keep in mind the stadium will be removing yet another area for car parking in civic. Think of the current situation with the AIS stadium. Thats pandemonium defined. Significant (free) shuttle services would have to operate like they do with matches at AIS.
    Agree, TV coverage is excellent, assuming you pay a fee to rupert murdoch.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:03 am 12 Jun 19

    You were doing well to you mentioned Rupert Murdoch.

    Did he run over your pet dog too?

    JS9 JS9 9:30 am 13 Jun 19

    Why the objection CR? It is the truth after all – if you want to be able to easily watch every game of the Raiders or Brumbies, you need a subscription to Fox Sports or Kayo (owned by Fox Sports). Which are owned by Rupert Murdoch….

Corey Karl Corey Karl 8:01 am 12 Jun 19

I think people of ACT would be better served, if they were better served at the games, sort out car parking there, and pop a roof on!! No problems everyone is happy 😂😂

    Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 8:05 am 12 Jun 19

    Corey Karl Donr need the car great bus transfers and it's free

    Antoinette Buchanan Antoinette Buchanan 8:07 am 12 Jun 19

    Corey Karl not much use to the mobility impaired

    Corey Karl Corey Karl 8:25 am 12 Jun 19

    Antoinette Buchanan what isn’t ??

    Jeremy Watson Jeremy Watson 10:05 pm 12 Jun 19

    Corey Karl quit your whinging... just lobby for a free bus from Bywong. Every other minority gets a say, why can’t Brumbies fans from Bywong be next?

    Corey Karl Corey Karl 10:21 pm 12 Jun 19

    Jeremy Watson surely being a member for over 15 years entitles me to something 😂😂😂

    Jeremy Watson Jeremy Watson 10:22 pm 12 Jun 19

    Corey Karl that’s potentially another minority but I’d be guessing you’d have better cut through representing the hair impaired rural residents association.

    Corey Karl Corey Karl 10:24 pm 12 Jun 19

    Jeremy Watson the old HIRRA eh

Peter Bee Peter Bee 7:58 am 12 Jun 19

Realistically where is the money coming from? ACT government has better things to spend it on. The football codes should pay – but ultimately they want to talk a new stadium up but not contribute $ - putting aside that they don’t have it anyway (Brumbies at least, Raiders have their pokies revenue). Western Sydney, Townsville are margin seats – Canberra is not so the Federal Government isn’t going to go large with the largesse and they aren’t going to be to be giving Andrew Barr a free hit.

If the money if found it will be along Constitution Avenue you’d think – 20, 000 to 25,000 a slightly smaller version of the Western Sydney Stadium or a slightly smaller Forsyth Barr Stadium (which has a roof). Either way the Stadium needs a real roof over the fans. Will that mean the Brumbies get better crowds, yes slightly but crowds come with success and at both Super and test level – good luck with that – the golden age is 15 years old now. Rugby isn’t free to air and that’s a major care factor. The average Canberra resident couldn’t name a Brumbies player – it’s not casually visible anymore like it was when on FTA.

Parking isn’t going to happen unless you have a disabled sticker, Lang Park has next to none and it works there. Most are bused in from hubs around the City and the same could be done here.

    Matt Jorgensen Matt Jorgensen 8:54 am 12 Jun 19

    Peter Bee the sale of Gio stadium along with AIS Arena will help fund the construction of a new stadium.

    Peter Bee Peter Bee 8:59 am 12 Jun 19

    Matt Jorgensen . Yes it will true and this is developer town - so its GEOCON and friends to pay.

    Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 9:03 am 12 Jun 19

    And then Geocon and friends will charge exorbitant prices for rent which in turn will be passed on to the public in the form of higher prices for tickets, food, drinks, etc.

    Matt Jorgensen Matt Jorgensen 9:15 am 12 Jun 19

    Would Geocon bid for the stadium though? Their stock in trade is shoddy overpriced blocks of apartments not high visibility multi purpose stadiums.

    Peter Bee Peter Bee 9:17 am 12 Jun 19

    Matt Jorgensen i mean buy the land at Bruce then develop for apartments: and that $ go towards a new stadium in the City

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 12:47 pm 12 Jun 19

    The money is why it is not being built right now. SCT gov is trying to get something out of the federal government, especially after the Liberals have backed it as a priority. so we have bilateral support for a new stadium, but no one has the money. Townsvilles new stadium was partly funded by the commonwealth, but it is a marginal seat also. It will not be used to the same extent as a new stadium in Canberra, yet due to politics, it got money. Potentially 3 national teams will use the new stadium, so it is the stupidity of politics that's the real issue right now. Hopefully the issue stays on the radar.

Matthew Dickson Matthew Dickson 7:27 am 12 Jun 19

It would be cool but why and where would they put it? Another place in the city with no where to park

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 7:22 am 12 Jun 19

Ask any Canberran. They would rather a new stadium than another tram

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 7:47 am 12 Jun 19

    Stas Idowu hah, no.

    Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 7:49 am 12 Jun 19

    Kieran Angus yes

    Lauren Andrea Lauren Andrea 7:57 am 12 Jun 19

    No i wouldn't. Waste of money. Should go to ACT hospitals.

    Ian Gay Ian Gay 10:21 am 12 Jun 19

    Stas Idowu "ask any canberran". Easy to disprove. Here, start with me: "nope".

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 12:41 pm 12 Jun 19

    Lauren Andrea There is a $500 million new facility being built at woden hopsital. So thats already happening, plus they spend 2 billion or so a year on health. The ACt has the best funded health system in australia.

    Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 11:59 pm 13 Jun 19

    Stas Idowu really?

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