AFL boss backs an upgraded AAMI Stadium - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL boss backs an upgraded AAMI Stadium

12/05/2008 01:12:43 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has backed the redevelopment of AAMI Stadium in Adelaide and not the construction of a new venue.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said a new stadium, which could cost about $1 billion, could not survive without AFL football and the AFL would not play there.

"We're certainly not supportive of a brand new stadium," he told ABC Radio.

"You certainly can't justify spending $1 billion of taxpayers' money on a new stadium.

"We've got a stadium that has served the game well. It does need some significant amount of money to be spent on it to bring it up to the standard we would like.

"(But) we've got no support for a new stadium and, in fact, I think I'm on the record as saying it couldn't possibly survive without football being played there and we wouldn't play there.

"We'd rather have a refurb at AAMI Stadium."

Mr Demetriou's comments are a blow for the South Australian Liberal opposition which has proposed the construction of a new, inner-city, stadium to be used by the various football codes.

The state government has opposed the concept, with Premier Mike Rann suggesting the next state election would give voters the opportunity to choose between the new sports venue or a new central hospital, as planned by Labor.

Mr Demetriou said that while the current AAMI Stadium was in urgent need of a major upgrade, he did not think the idea of a new stadium was financially viable.

"I don't think you can make the numbers stack up," he said.

"Our history shows that any investment in a stadium, especially the sort of magnitude you're talking about in South Australia, would be very, very difficult to get any return on the investment.

"I don't think that you can justify spending that sort of money if you're not going to get the return."

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