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AAMI about-face means good and bad news

General News

On this site we've bemoaned the lack of improvement to Adelaide's number one football ground, AAMI Stadium (Football Park). In particular South Australian fans have had to sit by while there have been major upgrades to the MCG, the building of the indoor Telstra Dome (Docklands Stadium), and a complete overhaul of the Gabba in Brisbane, as well as plans for a brand new facility in Perth and Sydney having use of ANZ Stadium (was Telstra Stadium / Olympic Stadium).

During that time AAMI Stadium has improved. New seating and the addition of two video screens and the relatively small northern grandstand have all made the venue better. But all along fans have wanted several things - to get closer to the action (the 1970s design with low sloping stands leaves the audience a long way from the playing surface), to increase the capacity (the Crows had a long waiting list for season tickets), and of course the ultimate dream - an indoor stadium closer to the city centre, as the AFL built in Melbourne.

The SANFL, owners of AAMI Stadium, in the Adelaide suburb of West Lakes, have had plans to upgrade, but have consistently denied the viewing distance was an issue or that it would change. The constant criticism of that line has caused some friction, so it is somewhat ironic that they have now released their plans for the upgrade - and it includes moving around one third of the spectators closer to the field. But simultaneous with the positive result came the negative - due to the global financial crisis, the state government has "postponed" its funding support. Thus the major changes will be delayed.

So whether AFL fans will see a major difference at the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power home ground over the next few years remains up in the air. The plans can be viewed at Get the Facts.

Overall the capacity will remain around 50,000, which is probably appropriate. If the ground had been expanded back in the late 90s, with Adelaide's large waiting list, it would have been likely the Crows' would have grown their membership to even larger numbers than the record 50,000+ they have achieved. But consistent lack of seating has, anecdotally, seen leakage of potential fans to Port Adelaide and other sports, and probably only premierships will see Adelaide return to experiencing such demand again.

Meanwhile nothing will satiate those people calling for a ground to be built closer to the city CBD - something the opposition is using as a point of difference to the state government. Whether it will be an election issue may depend on whether the global financial crisis subsides - no money in the state's coffers will make it very hard for any party to argue for a new stadium.

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AAMI about-face means good and bad news | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
AAMI about-face means good and bad news
Authored by: Ian Hill on Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 07:02 pm ACDT

I think you're letting your SA bias through a bit there.
What has this got to do with international footy?

AAMI about-face means good and bad news
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 12:07 am ACDT

You mustn't have noticed that as part of this site we try to educate readers on the broader context of Aussie Rules - the rich culture, history and continuing depth of the game across its country of origin - Australia.

So now and then we have stories that are relevant to the AFL (as is this one) or the strength of the game in a particular state (as is this one) or just something of interest (subjective). We've done so with stories from all over Australia, here's a small selection:

Tasmania ready but told to wait

Tassie attacks

NT team confirmed for Queensland league


Melbourne Grammar takes 150th anniversary spoils in AFL's Tom Wills Round

Born in a red ‘n’ black jumper

Stamp celebrates 150 years

Australian premiership table from 1877 onwards

Queensland's proud Aussie Rules history

Subiaco set for world class upgrade as footy facilities become an issue

Top End gripped by Grand Final fever

I have two more in the pipeline, regarding QLD and Tasmania. Feel free to skip them if they're not of interest. I'll assume your worry about my SA bias isn't coming from the old Melburnian in you.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

AAMI about-face means good and bad news
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 12:13 am ACDT

Having said all that, I wasn't going to bother doing this story, except as I said in the article, I've been a critic of AAMI Stadium in other articles, so to be fair, when good plans are announced, I figured I should acknowledge it.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

AAMI about-face means good and bad news
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Tuesday, December 30 2008 @ 01:11 pm ACDT

Just whilst we're at it, I'd love to recommend an article along the lines of the wonderful world leading (at the time) football heritage of Australia.
Looking at a list the other day, by the time the English 'football league' was established in 1888, there were already 'leagues' in SA, WA, Tassie, Vic (inc. Bendigo) and NSW (Broken Hill in 1888 and Newcastle in 1883).

It's this Newcastle one I'd love to hear more about - the Black Diamond Trophy. Still going and I've seen it indicated as the oldest continuous league trophy or something like that.

btw - I was amazed when reading Geoffrey Blainey's "A game of our own", to come across a reference to Stratford vs Sale in the 1880s........amazing that such small country towns were playing football with clubs established before the vast majority of the worlds soccer clubs - for example.

This is a heritage that needs to be made MORE known within Australia, let alone internationally.