Recently Expanded Adelaide Cricket Ground's Changes Mostly Well-Received
Aside from those locals who maintain that the Adelaide Cricket Ground's A$610M ($550.7M) price tag "would have been better spent on hospitals or schools, and those upset at the pitch being dug up to sate football, Adelaide is mostly enraptured with its new oval," according to Andrew Faulkner of THE AUSTRALIAN. The state government and sporting administrators have been "praised for seemingly pulling off the tricky manoeuvre of increasing the capacity to more than 50,000 while retaining the most important aspects of the oval's charm -- the northern mound, Moreton Bay figs and the scoreboard." By leaving the northern end "relatively untouched, the government has unwittingly given succour to some who seek to mock the development, as seen from above the ground as a whole resembles a toilet seat, and so it is being called." The eastern stand will be "ready in time for round one" of the Australian Football League season and "as such, the Test match is something of a soft launch." Stadium Management Authority Chair Ian McLachlan said, "It's a pity that we couldn't get the eastern stand done but it was an impossibility. I think the interest is such that we might have got 50,000 (today). But it was never going to happen." The new, 14,000-capacity southern stand is "vast and palatial -- replete with a 700-seat dining room, even larger than the one in the members it supersedes." The members stand -- "itself rebuilt around a shell of heritage arches four years ago," has at last "been christened." Football has naming rights for the eastern stand, which for the "time being remains the eastern stand although its bars and dining rooms have taken the names of various champions of the southern code" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/5).