Adelaide redevelopment delights AFL boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Adelaide redevelopment delights AFL boss

By Steve Larkin 02/12/2009 08:51:27 PM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou can't hide his delight at delivering his code an effectively new Adelaide stadium - for free.

The AFL won't pay a cent towards a redeveloped Adelaide Oval which will host AFL games within four years.

Demetriou's presence was pivotal in thawing a 40-year stand-off between the main two South Australian sporting bodies.

The SA Cricket Association (SACA) and SA National Football League (SANFL) had not been on speaking terms since a bitter split 40 years ago.

But Demetriou's peacemaking secured a government-funded $450 million redevelopment of Adelaide Oval, with AFL games and international cricket to share residency.

"It's a day that many people didn't believe, or wouldn't believe, would happen," Demetriou said in Adelaide on Tuesday.

"They (SACA and SANFL) have come to the table with enormous goodwill.

"They have come to the table representing their codes faithfully and strongly, and together over many months they have come to an agreement, and that is not an easy thing to do.

"The result is a wonderful, wonderful thing."

Adelaide Oval was established in 1873 after the SACA formed, and four years later Australian Rules football was first played at the ground.

The sports co-habited for almost a century before the SANFL took umbrage at the SACA's landlord role and split - constructing its own purpose-built football ground 30km west of the city, which opened in 1974.

That stadium, owned by the SANFL and originally known as Football Park, has hosted AFL games since 1991.

But a lack of public transport and ageing facilities meant the venue was becoming unable to adequately cope with AFL crowds.

"We have been desperate to improve our facilities and venues for our supporters throughout the country," Demetriou said.

"And now South Australians will be able to put their hands on their heart and say they have got an iconic venue in the heart of the city.

"It will leave a magnificent legacy for this state."

The redeveloped Adelaide Oval will have a capacity crowd of 50,000 - smaller than the 51,515 capacity at Football Park, now known as AAMI Stadium.

AAMI Stadium will remain the home and training base for the Adelaide Crows and Demetriou said the ageing West Lakes arena will likely be used for AFL preseason matches, due to cricket commitments at Adelaide Oval.

And he flagged AAMI Stadium as a fall back option for AFL premiership games should Australia win a bid for the 2018 or 2022 soccer World Cup, given any Cup matches would take precedence at Adelaide Oval.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 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