Australian Football League's Plans To Use MCG Could Be Scrapped Completely
The "long-standing proposal to build a Cricket Victoria centre of excellence at Junction Oval," in part allowing early release of the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Australian Football League, "has become mired in government indecision and in imminent danger of being scrapped completely," according to Mark Hayes of the HERALD SUN. Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty "has frustrated both the AFL and Cricket Victoria in recent meetings, forcing cricket to stand by its contractual rights at the MCG for the foreseeable future." CV Chair Geoff Tamblyn said, "We understand a Shield game is not the optimal use of the MCG in the back half of March when the AFL want to start earlier. The government keeps telling us they are supportive, but nothing of substance has happened and we are fast running out of time to nail a solution." Funding for the project "looked assured midyear when lobbying from CV, Cricket Australia and AFL won a federal government promise" of A$10M ($9.5M). But the change of power in Canberra "has meant applications for uncontracted grants must be resubmitted." Cricket Australia recently confirmed "its season was likely to push out towards its March 31 boundary to fit in its expanding schedule." And with the MCG as its only first-class venue, CV "has no alternative but to insist on enforcing its contract until that date annually until at least 2019" (HERALD SUN, 11/3).