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Time for action on an indoor stadium in Civic

Tim Gavel 11 December 2018 60

What will become of GIO Stadium if an indoor stadium is built in Civic? File photo.

I have been approached by a number of people with their vision for the much-touted indoor stadium, which has been proposed for the Civic Olympic Swimming Pool site.

One proposal had detailed drawings, which had the new stadium as part of a bigger complex including a new convention centre. Another, from StadiArena, had a detailed analysis on how a 30,000-seat stadium in Civic could be financed without being a burden on government coffers.

Interestingly, there has been little in the way, publicly at least, of a vision for the proposed new stadium from the ACT Government in recent times.

I am not sure if the whole project has been deemed as too hard, too expensive, or no longer a priority – if, in fact, it ever was.

A few years ago it appeared to be full steam ahead. There was even a proposed timeline. But it appears to be one step forward on this proposed project and two steps back.

One reason proffered was the diversion of funds to finance the Mr Fluffy crisis, and then there was a focus on funding light rail. There was also an indication that a new stadium was not a priority with a new Canberra theatre ahead on the pecking order. Then there emerged a proviso that we needed an A-League side for the stadium to be viable.

This was followed by the news that commencement was dependant on the Commonwealth off-loading Canberra Stadium to the ACT Government. The reasoning behind this was, if the ACT Government owned Canberra Stadium, it would then have the option of selling the Bruce site to developers and using the funds to help finance the new indoor stadium.

It is hard to see anything happening anytime soon and the longer a decision is delayed on building a new stadium in Civic, the more expensive it will be. The proposed cost of 350 million dollars will seem inexpensive by the time it is eventually built.

In the meantime, new stadiums have been built or are in the planning stage in centres such as Newcastle, Townsville, Melbourne, Moore Park in Sydney and Parramatta.

I guess my argument is that if there is a solid proposal, which embraces private investment in the project, it should be considered. I don’t believe the entire project should be financed with government funding. Far from it! What we need though, is an indication that a proposed indoor stadium is still on the radar.

Do you think a new stadium should be built in Civic? Comment below.

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60 Responses to Time for action on an indoor stadium in Civic
Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:12 pm 12 Dec 18

Population of Adelaide is now over 1.3 million. Canberra is just over 400,000.

Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 9:47 pm 12 Dec 18

Why can’t we have a new indoor stadium centrally located(a no brainer for the Canberra climate) and retain the Civic pool . There is room for both

Harper Pirsig Harper Pirsig 9:59 pm 12 Dec 18

What about the ovals and green space across from the ANU, the other side of Barry Drive, running along McCaughey Street, Turner, is a huge space, and 5 minute walk from the CBD and new light rail? A compromise option in the city centre.

Dory Johns Dory Johns 9:48 pm 16 Dec 18

Leave the Civic Pool alone. It is not past it’s use-by-date. Put some money into decent maintenance.

bigred bigred 6:41 am 18 Dec 18

I must say I am looking forward to the day I can catch the light rail to the city indoor stadium to watch events such as NRL games, Brumbles games and those one off sporting and music events such a venue will surely attract. Currently, it has to be a game involving some special team to get me out to Canberra Stadium because it is such a haul, either on a over crowded bus or the mad rush to park in the dust bowl and participate in the exit grand prix.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:11 am 18 Dec 18

    Queuing up to then stand in a tram ain’t fun either.

michael quirk michael quirk 7:18 am 18 Dec 18

Fund it by not extending the light rail to Woden as that transport task can be easily handled by buses, given the rapid improvements in electric bus technology.

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