Australian Football League's Plans For Game At Melbourne Cricket Ground Hit Roadblock
The Australian Football League's plans for March matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground "are in turmoil," according to Mark Hayes of the HERALD SUN. Funding for the proposed redevelopment of Junction Oval to build an alternative first-class cricket venue "has hit a political roadblock, leaving Cricket Victoria no choice but to exercise its right to keep the MCG until the end of its program each year." While the MCG will host the Cricket World Cup final on March 29, 2015, it "had been hoped the Junction Oval plan would free up the ground from 2016 so footy could start as early as the March long weekend in subsequent seasons." Money "was committed and the project approved by the former Rudd government." But the change of government in September "has put promised cash for all uncontracted projects on hold, meaning Cricket Victoria must reapply" for the A$10M ($9.6M) it thought assured. The "impasse leaves Victoria as the only state without an alternative first-class cricket venue" -- or dedicated training facility -- for the foreseeable future. The A$44M redevelopment "had taken in plans for medical and rehabilitation facilities, a 10-pitch indoor wicket training centre and improved oval seating, irrigation and drainage" (HERALD SUN, 10/25).