The ACT government is "keen to bid for rugby league World Cup games" in '17 but Canberra Stadium officials said that they will "resist sinking any more money into the venue until a decision is made" on the proposed A$300M ($269.4M) roofed stadium, according to Chris Dutton of the CANBERRA TIMES. Almost A$5M has been spent on Canberra Stadium over the past five years, "keeping the venue up to industry standard." The latest A$2M facelift to build new ticket booths, worth A$1.4M, and "re-lay the playing surface will be unveiled for Saturday's ACT Brumbies season-opener in the Super Rugby." Despite the improvements, stadium GM Neale Guthrie admitted the venue was "still at the lower end of the scale compared to other stadiums around Australia." Guthrie said that no more "major work would be done until there's a decision on a new roofed stadium." The government is yet to finalize details for the "proposed rectangular stadium with a roof, which has been flagged for the site of the Civic Pool" by '20 (CANBERRA TIMES, 2/21).
A-League side Sydney FC has "hit back at fans who say it lacks a long-term strategy by revealing plans to build a centre of excellence, providing a path from the grassroots through to the A-League," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Sydney FC Chair Scott Barlow "issued an open letter to the club's members on Thursday night outlining its long-term goals, headlined by a state-of-the-art training centre for youth development" from the U12s upwards. Sydney is "weighing up several different locations to build the centre of excellence and Barlow confirmed it is at the stage of negotiating with councils." Barlow said in the letter, "We also have plans to invest in the coming years in the creation of a football centre of excellence to house our elite junior teams and our community programs." The letter provides "strong insight into the club's long-term goals but does not address any of the concerns relating to the performance of the Sky Blues over the past two seasons." It falls short on "clarifying their short-term future, strategy and the status of the two most influential members of the football department" (SMH, 2/21).