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Volume 7 No. 149


Nine Network "made an extraordinary intervention in state politics" to back the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian government’s A$1.5B ($1.1B) stadium strategy, according to Edward Boyd of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Nine CEO Hugh Marks on Sunday "waded into the brawl with new Labor leader Michael Daley" by claiming Nine’s NRL coverage "could suffer unless Allianz Stadium at Moore Park was rebuilt." Marks said, "Nine wants to showcase NRL as a great national sport and we can only do this with the best stadia as the setting." Demolition of Allianz "is due to start in January" but Daley "has vowed to withdraw taxpayer funding for the project if Labor wins the state election in March." In a "strongly-worded statement," Marks "endorsed the Coalition’s plan for Allianz, saying it was crucial the project goes ahead, along with the upgrade of ANZ Stadium at Homebush." He added, "Sydney is a world class city that needs world class stadiums. The NRL is NSW’s premier sporting competition and needs modern facilities to continue to grow and thrive" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/3).

Adelaide will "miss out on one of the world’s biggest sporting events without a suitable stadium, sparking calls to expedite plans" for a new arena along the city’s riverbank, according to Val Migliaccio of THE ADVERTISER. Australia is preparing to bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but South Australia "remains a problem child and will not score a single game." Hindmarsh Stadium "fails much of FIFA’s basic criteria to host tournament matches." Australian Football League and cricket commitments at Adelaide Oval "would rule it out as an option because FIFA would need the stadium for more than a month." The lack of FIFA-compliant venues in Adelaide "bolsters the case for a proposed multipurpose arena" that could host football, rugby league, tennis, basketball and concerts. Proposed for the Adelaide railyards, the arena would include a retractable grass football pitch, which would be slid back to enable concerts, events and basketball to be staged on their usual surfaces. Despite plans being announced last week for a 128-room boutique hotel on the Adelaide Oval site, there has been no more public movement on the arena proposal. SA Best MLC Frank Pangallo said that the state "could not afford to lose a chance to host a major event for women’s sport." He said, "The state Liberals can raise loans to build a boutique hotel at Adelaide Oval, appeasing the politically aligned, footy, cricket and pokie baron chums, the Stadium Management Authority. Pity football (soccer) doesn’t have that type of clout" (THE ADVERTISER, 12/3).