Adelaide Oval Waiting For Money From AFL As Part Of $592M Redevelopment
As Australia's Adelaide Oval enters the final stages of its A$610M ($592M) redevelopment, the South Australian government said that the Australian Football League has "yet to pay a cent towards the picturesque cricket ground's conversion into a football coliseum," according to Andrew Faulkner of THE AUSTRALIAN. The AFL has repeatedly said that "the works will be a boon for Australian football but apparently has been slow in paying even its tiny share of the development's cost." SA Infrastructure Department CEO Rod Hook told parliament this week he had "consistently" asked the AFL to pay its promised A$5M toward the project -- to no avail. Hook said that "his department was constrained by a tight budget," which included "A$5 million only from the AFL, none of which has been paid yet." When asked by Opposition MP Rob Lucas if he had written to AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou to ask for the money, Hook said, "We make that point consistently." Meanwhile, the government and its contractors "have been rushing to have the oval ready for the second Ashes Test" starting on Dec. 5. A part-finished stadium -- the eastern stand will not be ready -- "will host the Test before workers return to complete the job in time for the AFL season." The construction union warned the government's decision to pay the main contractor, Baulderstone, a A$5M bonus to meet the deadline "could put workers at risk" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/23). In Adelaide, Kym Morgan reported Adelaide Oval Head Curator Damian Hough "has declared the stadium's new playing surface will be ready" for Dec. 5 Ashes Test opening day. The "first day of what will be a week long turf laying exercise took place at the reconstructed stadium" Monday, giving Hough and his team "just over a month to ensure the Santa Ana couch sets for the Ashes" (THE ADVERTISER, 10/22).