Aussie Rules attempts to free load off World Cup Finals
9:39 PM Mon 17th Mar, 2008 - Sweeper
The FFA has announced Australia will bid for the right to host the 2018 World Cup. This is the starting gun in what will be a very long and arduous beauty parade to convince FIFA that Australia should be granted this exclusive and elusive right to host the holy grail of human kinds sporting endeavours.

Yet 10 years out the SANFL, arch enemy of local football, is positioning itself to free load off the World Cup Finals bid. For the past fortnight the SANFL and their local press cronies have told us how they would only accept a new multipurpose stadium if they owned it and controlled everything associated with it. They have told us the SANFL must own and control the stadium but in the same breath they also tell us the South Australian and Australian governments must cough up the $1billion dollars to build the stadium.

What does the SANFL bring to the negotiating table? Football Park is its supposed jewel in the crown. Its a old fashioned and outdated stadium which the SANFL openly admits needs $250m spent on it to bring it up to standard. So instead of upgrading the old stadium the SANFL is thinking it can sell the stadium for housing. The $100m plus it receives from selling Football Park can then be pumped into the new $1billion dollar multipurpose stadium that it will own and control.

Hangon!!!!....lets have a closer look at the maths.

a) SANFL sells Football Park, gains $100m sale price and avoids $250m liability to upgrade its outdated stadium. Total benefit of $350m.

b) SANFL puts $100m to obtain ownership and control of new $1billion dollar multipurpose stadium. Total benefit of $900m

So what a great deal for the SANFL. It reaps $1.25billion dollar net benefit.

But the SANFL is deluding itself if it thinks it can use the 2018 World Cup Finals as justification for this free gift. FIFA will not allow it to happen. FIFA have a very clear and regularly repeated objective that all major FIFA events, particularly the World Cup Finals, must leave a legacy of football facilities for the local sport. Every prospective World Cup host must demonstrate to FIFA how hosting the World Cup Finals will leave such a legacy. Gifting a $1billion dollar stadium to a rival sporting code will not be acceptable to FIFA and would seriously undermine Australia's bid.

Who in their right mind would spend $1billion dollars on a new stadium in Adelaide only to sell it to the SANFL for $100m? Lets get bullish and say the SANFL is able to raise $250m - that still leaves another $750m hole.

There are far cheaper alternatives available to meet the requirements of hosting World Cup finals matches in Adelaide. An outlay of approximately $50m would increase the capacity of Hindmarsh Stadium to 30,000 seats. Another $50m would increase the capacity to 40,000. Even if you allow a bit of fat and increase the figure to $150m for a 40,000 seat Hindmarsh Stadium it is a far sight cheaper than any of the options being pushed by the SANFL.

Finally we have all heard South Australian Treasurer Kevin Foley saying his government wont be spending any money on stadiums. Well Kevin Foley I dont think anyone really cares because we all know your government will not be making that decision. Its a very long road to 2018. Stadium construction and refurbishment wont start until 2014 for the 2018 World Cup Finals. Further the reality of the situation is Australia is likely to miss out on 2018 and be successfull in 2022. By that time Kevin Foley and Mike Rann will only be remembered for their white elephant multi billion dollar hospital built on the Adelaide parklands.

SANFL smoke and mirrors move.
Source: User Submission
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