ANZ Bank Tries To Offload Sydney's Olympic Stadium To Government
ANZ bank has offered to sell Sydney's Olympic Stadium back to the state government for A$100M ($102M) because "it is fed up with a lack of government investment in the project," according to Andrew Clennell of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. It may have "showcased Sydney to the world" in '00, but ANZ Stadium "is in danger of turning into the white elephant it was always feared it would be." ANZ, which has a lease from the government over the Homebush stadium until '31, offered to sell it back for A$100M, but "Treasury officials blocked the move, arguing it did not make enough of a profit." The stadium makes a small profit -- between A$10M and A$30M a year -- but the owners argued that, without a huge investment, "it risked being in a state of disrepair and completely out of date when it reverted back to the government in 18 years." The company wants a A$250M-A$300M upgrade of the stadium which would include "installing a roof, putting retractable seats at either end to allow it to have a rectangular shape for rugby league, union and soccer and bars and restaurants built around the site" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/4).