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

Tim Gavel 12 June 2019 72
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.

What’s Your opinion?

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72 Responses to
Ricky Stuart’s stadium call keeps ball rolling for Civic facility
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9:48 am 18 Jun 19

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

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!

3:52 pm 13 Jun 19


3:52 pm 13 Jun 19

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

11:27 pm 12 Jun 19

Civic hahaha no yobos or housos in that place

11:15 pm 12 Jun 19

I'm all for a new stadium to show case the best rugby league club in the world it only seems fair?

9:03 pm 12 Jun 19

It needs to be a multi sport arena, covering everything from league to cricket.

    10:12 pm 12 Jun 19

    Jesse Mahoney it doesn't work. Well, it does, in the sense that you can play anything there, but viewing wise, soccer and any form of rugby on a cricket pitch makes for horrible viewing.

    10:20 pm 12 Jun 19

    Jesse Mahoney it sucks for spectators. ANZ, Subiaco terrible for rugby, soccer

    11:16 pm 12 Jun 19

    Sunny Singh yeah your right the MCG is a horrible venue

    11:17 pm 12 Jun 19

    Jesse Mahoney sorry the conversation was about sports teams I'm not sure how cricket got thrown in

    11:20 pm 12 Jun 19

    Ben Medway for rugby and soccer, it is rough viewing. Love the G but watching origin there last year was a struggle. Great atmosphere but you're so far away from the action with league/soccer.

    11:49 pm 12 Jun 19

    Ben Medway haha, love it.

    4:07 pm 13 Jun 19

    Elroy Jones docklands stadium in Melbourne works. The lower deck stands move forward over the sides of the field.

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.

2:51 pm 12 Jun 19

Put it in Gungahlin and keep all the football ground yobos out of Civic.

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!

2:12 pm 12 Jun 19

The Ricky Stuart Stadium 😄😄😄

2:06 pm 12 Jun 19

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

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 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.

9:39 am 12 Jun 19

Why Civic where parking is a big problem. Easy to get to other regional areas in Canberra.

    9:53 am 12 Jun 19

    Kerry Dent its 2019 they aren’t going to build a car centric football stadium. MCG isn’t, Olympic Stadium isn’t, Lang Park isn’t.

    11:31 am 12 Jun 19

    What will happen to the bruce Stadium if they decide to build one in civic and where in the hell are they going to put it

    11:39 am 12 Jun 19

    Dale Wheatley the cynical answer is CIT Reid as thats sadly for the carve up - mix of apartments and stadium with green in the middle.

    12:20 pm 12 Jun 19

    Kerry Dent parking should be banned from stadium talk. Public transport is a priority

    12:29 pm 12 Jun 19

    Peter Bee Well more reason to have stage 2 of the tram go along Constitutional Ave our to the airport.

    12:38 pm 12 Jun 19

    Kerry Dent agreed - im pretty sure any new stadium will be built centrally.

    12:41 pm 12 Jun 19

    Kerry Dent on this we can agree!

    4:59 pm 12 Jun 19

    Dale Wheatley Geocon will develop Bruce.. 🤣🤣

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.

8:52 am 12 Jun 19

As long as they charge higher rates to the outer suburbs this time ffs.

    12:42 pm 12 Jun 19

    That is not how rates work. Larger blocks and blocks with higher value due to being closer to the city will always be charged higher rates and so they should be.

    5:12 am 13 Jun 19

    Charge higher rates to the outer suburbs so the civic kids can have a new stadium in walking distance? Yeah no thanks. I get this is something we could all potentially benefit from, but some far more than others.

    8:34 am 13 Jun 19

    I’d rather a pool in walking distance thanks.

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 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 11:03 am 12 Jun 19

    You were doing well to you mentioned Rupert Murdoch.

    Did he run over your pet dog too?

    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….

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 😂😂

7:59 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.

    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.

    8:59 am 12 Jun 19

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

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    11:20 pm 12 Jun 19

    Peter Bee it would cost money to build yes but also create jobs for construction and it actually brings money into the city pubs clubs hotels

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