Fans who think there’s nothing wrong with SFS might be suffering from severe Stockholm syndrome

BY CURTIS WOODWARD

@woodward_curtis

A historic NRL grand final outside of Sydney is back on the cards if the Labor Party wins power at the NSW state election next March.

Opposition Leader Michael Daley slammed the Liberals for their planned stadium revamp at Moore Park.

The Sydney Football Stadium is set for demolishment in the coming months while the Olympic stadium at Homebush will be upgraded to fall in line with many other stadiums around the country.

But Daley was adamant this wouldn’t happen if Labor won next year.

The current deal in place between the government and the NRL has the grand final locked down for the next 25 years but the $1.5 billion promised to stadium facelifts would be filtered back into schools and hospitals.

Our dear old SFS desperately needs work. Quite simply, it isn’t good enough. Corporate viewing is a mess with boxes situated at the north and south of the venue. In the client entertainment game, nobody wants to watch the match from down there. Everyone wants to be on halfway. Floors creak. The upper side of the eastern grandstand is a ghost town on game days too.

Daley says if the demolition of the SFS was to go ahead, the SCG Trust would have to take out a loan somewhere near $700 million rather than taxpayers foot the bill.

“If you knock this stadium down, there will be no public handout to rebuild it,” Daley said.

“I will sit down with the Trust and assist them with finance. They can get a loan from the banks. We can talk about a concessional loan from the government but they will have to pay it back.

“There will be no ripping off taxpayers here.”

The perfect size for a rebuilt SFS is about 30, 000 seats which would be a lot cheaper too.

A retractable roof would be nice too considering how much rain Sydney gets and how fickle fans in the NSW capital are.

Rugby league people in Sydney that believe the SFS is fine in its current state might be battling a dose of Stockholm syndrome. You can’t blame them. They know no different. The SFS is fine, right?

Perhaps they haven’t been to Suncorp Stadium?

Nor had the chance to walk through the gates of the brand new Adelaide Oval or AAMI Park in Melbourne or the state-of-the-art Perth Stadium.

Thankfully, work has already begun in gutting the SFS.

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Daley added: “The people of NSW have a clear choice. If you want billions of dollars spent knocking down perfectly good stadiums, vote for the liberals and the nationals.

“If you want billions of dollars put into schools and hospitals, vote for me.”

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Mr. Daley, it’s only one billion dollars. In the grand scheme of things, a billion dollars is a drop in the ocean of a government’s spend but will mean the world of difference to rugby league supporters whether they know it yet or not.

“We want the world’s best and biggest events right here in NSW,” Premier Berejiklian responded.

“Labor want to give away the NRL Grand Final for the first time in the state’s history.”

ARLC chairman Peter Beattie confirmed that if the government broke their memorandum of understanding, the NRL would offer their showpiece event to other states.

A fan on Twitter asked Beattie if he stood by his commitment to take the decider to rival cities if the government broke their MOU.

His response?

“Yes”.

@woodward_curtis

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