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July 14th, 2018 by admin

NRL grand final 2016: Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison wants other levels of government to help with Cronulla Sharks’ stadium upgrade

Suburban supporter: Treasurer Scott Morrison believes grounds such as Cronulla’s have a long-term future. Photo: John VeageFederal Treasurer and Cronulla’s No.1 ticket-holder Scott Morrison wants other levels of government to help fund Cronulla’s redevelopment plans for Southern Cross Group Stadium while passionately defending the future of suburban grounds in the NRL.
Nanjing Night Net

Morrison’s stance might be at odds with his state government colleagues, who have stopped funnelling money into Sydney’s suburban grounds in a bid to focus its stadium strategy on the city’s major venues.

Despite the squabbling over the distribution of the NSW government’s $1.6 billion upgrades to ANZ Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Pirtek Stadium, Morrison still wants the Sharks’ Woolooware base to be used long into the future.

Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman said in the grand final build-up plans for a makeover of Southern Cross Group Stadium included a centre of excellence under an extended western grandstand and upgrade of the Monty Porter Stand at the southern end.

It is hoped capacity would increase to 25,000, which will help ease the burden of an expected rush for memberships and season tickets given the club has broken its title drought.

And while stopping short of confirming the federal government will fund those plans in part, Morrison stressed suburban rugby league venues, such as Cronulla’s base, still had a long-term future.

Asked about the future of suburban grounds, given a number of Sydney’s NRL clubs allocating home games to major venues, Morrison said: “What’s great about this ground is that on any game day it’s a community ground and it’s great for the locals to be able to come and watch their footy here locally. It’s a very special place along those lines.

“I love coming down here on game day and you see the kids walking into the ground with their mums and dads, their aunties and uncles and their grandparents – and I think that’s what footy is all about. That’s what sport is all about. This is a sport-mad community and they want to celebrate and enjoy it here.”

John Howard’s federal government pitched $10 million into the construction of Southern Cross Group Stadium’s southern grandstand, but Gorman and the Sharks board want to explore the possibility of commercialising that end of the ground.

Morrison confirmed he would talk to Gorman about any federal government contributions to the redevelopment at a later date.

“We’ve already been in it for a while and I’m sure there are other arms of government that might show an interest as well,” Morrison said.

“They’re looking at [the southern grandstand] as a commercial development as well. The club management is very commercially focused – they don’t stand around with their hand out – they make things happen themselves.

“We own this stadium and others don’t own theirs – and it’s been a great advantage to us.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.