Should Newcastle or the Hunter dip a toe into the dream pool to host the Commonwealth Games?
Yeah but nah. Can’t see it happening in the next dozen years. Too many flagship projects in Sydney to finish and infrastructure cost blowouts to address.
Both western Sydney and regional Victoria want a Games. Next year’s Games on the Gold Coast is costing north of $2 billion with ticket sales of around $500 million.
But it’s on the wish list of some influential people round these parts. It would provide a massive boost to infrastructure. It could see the Broadmeadow sports and entertainment precinct being rolled out in a coordinated manner and provide a lasting legacy that would shape the city’s future. Might even be able to get a bus right out the front of the stadium after a match or see a concert in something other than a building that would scare a battery hen. Dare to dream.
This rugby league ‘heartland’ didn’t even get a jersey to host a game in the rugby league world cup. But Darwin got a quarter-final, which seems a massive insult to rugby league ‘heartland’ because the battle for hearts and minds and ongoing bums on seats in the Territory is done and dusted. It’s AFL all the way from the Centre to the Tiwi Islands and through Arnhem Land to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Rugby league in Darwin in November – a month referred to as the build-up because of stifling and oppressive humidity – is ridiculous. But not nearly as ridiculous as the television advert spruiking the world cup opener between Australia and England which featured blokes punching each other in the head. Not for rugby league to promote the skill of the sidestep or the 90 metre chase-down and tackle. Nooooo.
Blokes punching other blokes in the head presented as patriotism. The administration that allowed that boofheaded advert to promote a world cup match need to go down the backyard and take a good long look. Concussion? What concussion? Surely that’s the kind of ongoing stupidity at the highest level in rugby league that has contributed to a drop in regular participants of 27 per cent between 2001 and 2016, according to research published by Roy Morgan in March.
Maybe we’re more now more a soccer loving city than a rugby league loving city anyway.
Newcastle hosted successful soccer matches during the Asian Cup and nearly 17000 fans set a record for a Matildas’ home crowd in September. No wonder soccer has seen a growth of 46 per cent – according to the same Roy Morgan report – to become Australia’s number one regular participant sport. Yes, I know, I should call it football. And when the Socceroos change their name, I’ll do that for sure.
What a great night of entertainment the Australian and Brazilian footballers provided. It couldn’t even be ruined by the tired and emotional punter who kept chanting New-car-sell, New-car-sell.
For mine that game was the city’s sporting highlight in the city in 2017, although the organisation of patrons entering the ground provided the usual letdown I’ve come to expect at Turton Road. And the lack of food variety remains an embarrassing shadow of the white Australia policy. You want sauce on that?
Bugger the Games. Let’s go for the Women’s Football World Cup. Why stop at the commonwealth when you can shoot for the world?
Twitter @paul_scott_ or email@example.com