Blues talking up AFL return to Visy Park - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues talking up AFL return to Visy Park

By Roger Vaughan and Adam Cooper 14/05/2009 07:06:13 PM Comments (0)

Carlton's home ground could be an AFL venue again by 2011 as the league tries to increase the pressure on the MCG and Etihad Stadium.

At Thursday's club chief executives meeting, the AFL confirmed it is going ahead with a feasibility study to revive Princes Park for senior regular-season matches.

Several Melbourne clubs continue to clamour for better deals with the two existing AFL venues in the city.

It has been four years since Princes Park last hosted an AFL match and the venue is in the midst of a major redevelopment.

Blues chief executive Greg Swann said the building work would be finished by November.

If the league pushes ahead with the Princes Park revival, the most likely scenario is for the ground to be ready in time for Gold Coast's 2011 senior debut.

"Even if you ask the AFL, they'd be supportive of having a genuinely viable ground as another venue for games," Swann said.

"It depends what the feasibility (study) comes up with, if it's a complete rebuild or refurbishment, it will take a while.

"But if it's just cosmetic, it won't take long at all."

He added Princes Park would be a "vastly better" venue financially for some Carlton matches, especially against non-Victorian teams.

This year, the Blues are playing six home games at Etihad Stadium, four at the MCG and one on the Gold Coast.

The Blues are hoping for a seven-four home games split involving Princes Park, with the majority at the MCG, and are hopeful it would provide a better financial return than their current deal.

"You've got to be able to make $200,000 to $300,000 per home game, no matter who you are," Swann said.

"The AFL raised it today at the CEO's conference, so they're looking at it."

Cash-strapped North Melbourne have also expressed an interest in playing home games at the ground, but only if they can maximise their income from the venue.

"If it was under AFL control - a clean stadium - we would be one of the first in the queue to look at hosting matches there against non-Victorian teams," said Kangaroos chief executive Eugene Arocca.

The AFL has taken Etihad Stadium to court over the stadium deals issue.

The league has tried to put Etihad Stadium and the MCG under fierce public pressure to alter the current deals with clubs, so far without success.

But the league and the MCG are apparently closing on a revised deal.

Earlier this year, the AFL rejected a revised offer from the MCG.

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