Adelaide set to miss out on 2018 World Cup Finals
8:09 PM Sun 24th Feb, 2008 - Manton Street
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced Australia's bid to host the 2018 World Cup Finals. But Adelaide looks almost certain to miss out on hosting any games thanks to more inaction by SA Premier Mike Rann.

In announcing the bid Kevin Rudd identified the key venues as the MCG in Victoria, the Sydney Football Stadium in NSW, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and the new $1bn stadium being built in Perth - not a single mention of Adelaide.

Rudd left Adelaide off the list because Adelaide does not have a stadium within a bulls roar of meeting the standards required for hosting World Cup Finals matches. Not a real surprise given the FFA recently dropped Adelaide from the list of contenders to host the Socceroos World Cup qualifier home matches - despite the offer of significant financial incentives from the SA Government.

The only existing venue of sufficient capacity is Football Park. But Football Park is a poorly designed stadium that is more suited to a third world country - not a leading city in one of the best performing economies in the developed world.

But Mr Rann yesterday flatly rejected building a new facility in South Australia.

"We're not talking about a new stadium; it would be really dumb to spend $1 billion when we haven't even won the bid, and I would be rightly condemned for building the greatest white elephant in the history of the country," he said.

Instead Mr Rann is proposing to throw good money after bad money by spending several hundred million dollars on the poorly designed Football Park. Talk about creating white elephants!! Clearly Mr Rann does not know what is a world class stadium.

Already other venues are lining up to snatch group matches. Sydney and Melbourne have four world class stadiums - the Sydney Football Stadium, Homebush Stadium, the MCG and Colonial Stadium. This raises the prospect that the bulk of the major matches will be played in these two cities. Further NSW is talking of having further matches played in redeveloped stadiums at regional locations such as Newcastle and the Central Coast.

Perth will have completed its $1bn new stadium and Brisbane has the world class inner city Suncorp Stadium to host the bulk of the remaining games.

Without a world class stadium Adelaide is left facing the prospect of missing out completely on hosting any games or only picking up insignificant matches that could probably be held at an enlarged Hindmarsh Stadium.

Mr Rann does not understand the gravity of the World Cup Finals. This is the World's premier sporting event - far bigger than the Olympics. Its an opportunity to showcase Adelaide on the biggest stage there is on this planet and Mr Rann is proposing to do so with a second rate 1970's era stadium.

Obtaining the right to host World Cup Finals matches is a privilege, not a right, and it has to be won in a highly competitive international environment. It simply does not land in your lap Mr Rann - you have pull out all stops and work very hard to land the event.

Mr Rann its time for action and decisive leadership - not inaction.
Source: User Submission
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