Clubs win better MCG deal, Etihad next - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clubs win better MCG deal, Etihad next

03/09/2009 06:46:13 PM Comments (0)

Having won half their battle, the AFL's Victorian-based clubs will meet next week to plot the next move in negotiations with Etihad Stadium.

The league and their clubs scored a major win on Wednesday with the confirmation of a new deal for MCG matches.

Each time a club hosts a home and away game at the ground for the next decade, they will receive at least an extra $100,000.

Revenue from home and away matches at the ground will fund the extra money and the boost will be worth at least $46 million.

Melbourne-based clubs have been agitating for better stadium deals and late last year gained strong support from the league.

The Victorian Government played a key role in the MCG negotiations, but Etihad Stadium is a privately-owned business and could be a much tougher nut to crack.

"Obviously there's still some work to do to make sure the other ground where AFL games are played in Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, a similar deal can be struck," said Western Bulldogs chairman David Smorgon.

"That will be the next challenge for the AFL and the sub-committee."

Smorgon is chairman of the clubs sub-committee that has been involved in the venue negotiations.

He praised the Victorian Government for its role in the new deal, which was sealed after late-night discussions.

Smorgon added the league and their clubs had rarely worked so well together on an issue.

"Today is a very significant day, because I know for probably the last nine years, there have been a number of clubs - particularly the smaller clubs - have been talking about the stadium deals," he said.

"To have a breakthrough with the MCG is great news for all football fans and certainly those clubs that play at the MCG.

"It's the first time, certainly in my 13 years, where the AFL have worked so closely with the clubs.

"I've never seen a better example of transparency and openness with the AFL and their clubs and that's given everyone a good feeling - a satisfactory outcome is the result.

"Rather than trying sometimes to divide and conquer and saying `leave it to us', they engaged the clubs."

The deal means the grand final is guaranteed to stay at the MCG for at least another five years, until 2037, and at least 10 of the league's best 12 games each year will be played at the ground.

The agreement also involves the State government contributing $30 million to a refurbishment of the ground's Great Southern Stand and $6 million to a redevelopment of Yarra Park, where the ground is situated.

Management of Yarra Park will transfer from the Melbourne City Council to the MCG Trust.

While the Bulldogs will not benefit greatly from the deal - their home games are mainly at Etihad Stadium - Smorgon said the whole league had received a major boost.

"The fundamental disadvantage of not having a fair and equal stadium deal has been a killer," he said.

"It probably turns some clubs from a loss into a profit.

"Everyone will get some benefit out of this."

The deal is another boost for Melbourne, who have strong traditional ties with the ground.

They are struggling on the field, but have made good progress this year with their financial situation.

"It just puts a whole new context on our games at the ground ... it's a remarkable effort," said Demons chief executive Cameron Schwab.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news