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SBD Global/January 15, 2014/Facilities

Australia's Manuka Oval Draws More Than 12,000 In First Game Since $6.2M Makeover

Australia's Manuka Oval makeover "passed its first test with flying colours" and will enable the city of Canberra to bid for more int'l and domestic cricket fixtures, according to Lee Gaskin of the CANBERRA TIMES. A capacity crowd of more than 12,000 "soaked up the atmosphere" in the first game at the ground since it had its A$7M ($6.2M) upgrade, with "a complete resurfacing of the playing surface, extra seating and increased amenities." An additional A$2M of upgrades "will begin this week" to be completed in time for the start of the Australian Football League season. Canberra is "unlikely to host a Test match in the near future," with the Western Australian Cricket Association "expected to upgrade the Perth ground in time to be retained on the 2015-16 schedule." But Sutherland said that the lights and increased capacity "made Canberra a more attractive option for other formats of the game" (CANBERRA TIMES, 1/15).
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