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$1b stadium in Sydney a waste of money

THE Sydney stadium the State Government wants to knock down and replace with a bigger one was only filled two times by its tenants last season.
As part of $1.6 billion funding for sporting stadiums, the NSW Government wants to replace the 44,000 capacity Allianz Stadium at Moore Park with a $1 billion 55,000 seater.
The plan has divided opinion, with Sydney NRL clubs opposed to the idea because they would be forced to move games from their traditional home grounds to the new venue.
Others have called for Allianz Stadium to just be upgraded, rather than demolished.
Ripping down the existing stadium would also leave NRL club Sydney Roosters, Super Rugby’s Waratahs and A-League side Sydney FC without a home ground for at least three years.
But crowd figures from the three major tenants at the ground cast further doubts on a 55,000-seater at Moore Park.
The average crowd at the venue across the 2015 Super Rugby and NRL seasons, 2015-16 A-League season and two Asian Champions League fixtures was only 17,736 — or 40 per cent of capacity.
Across those 38 figures at the ground, there were only two crowds above 40,000 — the two A-League derbies between tenants Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.
There were no sellout NRL games at the ground in 2015, with the highest crowds of 35,711 and 35,110 for a Sydney Roosters semi-final and Anzac Day clash respectively.
Super Rugby side the Waratahs averaged 22,737 at the ground in 2015, with a season high of 32,632.
It is also worth noting the ground hosted a sellout Sydney Sevens rugby event over two days this year and 24,975 at a Socceroos World Cup qualifier.
The figures cast more doubt on plans knockdown the stadium that was opened in 1988 and replace it with an even bigger one.
The NSW Government has $1.6 billion set aside for stadiums in Sydney, with a new 30,000-seat stadium at a cost of $300 million already confirmed to replace Parramatta Stadium.
ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park would also be decreased in size to 75,000 but have a roof and become rectangular.
Sports Minister Stuart Ayres wants $1 billion to go towards the new 55,000 stadium at Moore Park, with a commitment from the NRL that 65 games are played a year at the three grounds.
That has caused problems with NRL clubs such as Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks, who do not want to leave their suburban bases to play at a new Moore Park ground.
The policy of centralised stadiums has worked for the AFL in Melbourne, with all clubs playing games at either Etihad or the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
NRL clubs, including Allianz tenants Sydney Roosters, would rather the ground gets an upgrade than being demolished and replaced.

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