A-League Central Coast Mariners Looking To Become First In League To Run Own Stadium
A-League side Central Coast Mariners believes it will "take a huge step towards being financially secure if they win the right to become the first A-League club to run its own stadium," according to Tom Smithies of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The Mariners are in talks with Gosford City Council "to take over the running of Bluetongue Stadium" starting in February, after their initial tender "and those of what are believed to be two rival bidders were all judged inadequate by the council last week." Though it would require a "substantial increase in the Mariners’ operating infrastructure," team Owner Mike Charlesworth described the proposed venture as "pivotal to our sustainability" and promised to "invest his own money in developing the ground." The Mariners would take on the "existing staff running the stadium, but crucially would also take ownership of multiple revenue streams -- from the profit on beer sold at games, to the naming rights, plus fees for its potential use to host concerts and events." The sponsorship deal by which the stadium "carries the name of the Bluetongue Brewery has lapsed, meaning the successful bidder will be able to strike a new deal and keep the proceeds." Charlesworth said, "It's pivotal to the sustainability of the club -- I can't think of anything more important." Currently the Mariners, "as with all A-League clubs, receive money from ticket sales to their games but precious little of any other money spent at the stadium" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/12).