AFL Sydney Swans Considers Playing 'Occasional Game' In Canberra
Australian Football League side Sydney Swans "are considering playing premiership games in Canberra" starting in '17 as part of a move to "increase the club's flexibility with scheduling," according to Andrew Wu of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Swans said that they will "continue to play the bulk of their home games" at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but Canberra and Spotless Stadium are emerging as "contenders to play host for an 'occasional game,' along with ANZ Stadium." Swans Chair Andrew Pridham said the Canberra idea was only "exploratory" but added that the ACT government "was interested." Pridham: "Playing an occasional game in Canberra is an option we would look at." The move would "help safeguard the club from situations like this year when they were not able to get onto the SCG until round four" due to the ground hosting Major League Baseball matches, or occasions when the season "starts earlier and clashes with cricket." The Swans are about to "enter negotiations with the SCG Trust and ANZ Stadium for a new tenancy agreement after their deal expires at the end of the 2016 season" (SMH, 6/18). In Sydney, Neil Cordy reported Swans CEO Andrew Ireland is in "negotiations with the SCG and ANZ Stadium and for the 2017 season and beyond, and gave the strongest hint yet at a desire for more marquee games at the SCG." Ireland: "We would like to see some of those big games come back to the SCG and I think it's fair to say we'd like to see finals played at the SCG as well." The Swans have been playing games at ANZ Stadium since '02 and while Ireland is "keen for more blockbusters at the SCG he is reluctant to walk away completely from the Olympic venue." Ireland said, "ANZ Stadium have got plans to put a roof on the stadium. They're also looking to spend about A$300 million ($282M) on improving the stadium, so there's some big decisions" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/18).