A-League Side Sydney FC Backing Rebuilding Of Allianz Stadium
A-League side Sydney FC threw its support "behind a complete rebuild of Allianz Stadium," reversing months of "opposition to being displaced during its construction," according to Tom Smithies of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Accepting that “the boat has sailed” on the idea of refurbishing the venue piecemeal, Sydney CEO Danny Townsend said that the club had written to the government to "confirm its backing for a brand new venue." The team accepted that it will have to "vacate the stadium during a rebuild." The team's support is "predicated on the idea that rebuilding Allianz would take precedence over ANZ Stadium," potentially starting late next year. The various tenants of Allianz, including Sydney FC, the Super Rugby side Waratahs and National Rugby League club Roosters, "fear the stadium may fail safety tests" once its compliance certificate expires in '19. It comes "just days before the government is expected to announce the outcome of a protracted public debate over how much and where money should be spent rejuvenating Sydney's suite of large stadiums." Sydney FC's change of position "appears to be backed by its supporters," after a poll of fans at Sunday’s defeat of Wellington found the "vast majority" in favor of a new stadium. Townsend said, "Based on the information that we've been given, a refurbishment to get the stadium to a world-class standard isn't happening. We need a world-class facility and if the only way to reach that is to rebuild, then that's the situation." The Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, which owns Allianz, conducted a random poll of almost 200 Sydney fans on Sunday, with 88% backing "construction of a new facility." There was also "widespread support" for the design concept that the club favors, "where the top tiers of seats would be covered by reflective screens for smaller crowds but opened up for events such as the derby" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/17).