Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Tasmanian football continues its search for the Holy Grail

It would appear that both major Tasmanian political parties will explore the feasibility of constructing a rectangular stadium in Tasmania for football.

There is, after all, an election coming up.

The proposed stadium would also apparently cater for Rugby and concerts.

That’s sensible and I hope something comes out of it.

Nothing much has yet come out of the millions of dollars in grants promised by the federal government two years ago to South Hobart, Glenorchy Knights, Metro and Football Tasmania and which apparently is under the custodianship of some local councils.

Which leads me to my main point, which is that Tasmania does not need to depend on a rectangular stadium to have an A-League team.

Only this week, I saw Western United play a match on a footie oval interstate.  I’ve seen other A-League teams do the same.  Why can they do it and yet we are told we shouldn’t and that it hinders our case for a Tasmanian team?

Don’t get me wrong.  A purpose-built rectangular stadium would be marvellous for Tasmania football.

But if you think the absence of one has cost Tasmania an A-League team, think again.

They just don’t want us.  It's all a bit like unrequited love between human beings.

We have the money, thanks to two enterprising entrepreneurs from Victoria, and we have venues that are better than some of the ovals that have hosted A-League games interstate as recently as this week.

The pitches at UTAS Stadium in Launceston and Blundstone Arena in Hobart are excellent, as are the facilities.

We also have the supporters.  Western United had just 960 people to watch their A-League game this week.

There were two or three times that number at Western United’s two games at UTAS Stadium last week.

So, the decision makers are being disingenuous when they tell Tasmanian fans that a rectangular stadium is one of the pre-requisites for us having an A-League team.

It’s about time they fessed up and simply said we don’t want you.

Attempts to have a Tasmanian AFL team always strike similar hurdles.

If only people would be honest and just say they don’t want us.



Anonymous said...

Walter , they should seriously consider North Hobart as the venue . They are happy to accommodate A League games as they have done in the past. Their club earns some income from the pies and beers they sell. The surface there is equal to any other surface in the state.
It is a smaller stadium that Blundstone and UTAS and much easier to access.
I am sure that temporary stands may be erected on the side or sides to bring the supporters a little closer to the action.
There is minimal cost in providing temporary seating rather than millions for a brand new stadium . Forget UTAS and Blundstone for football . They are just not suitable.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree Walter.
Until we produce the Ricky Ponting of football we will never have a team.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to argue for an A League team when our governing body down here (FFT) is so amateurish. FFT shows absolutely no initiative and they run the game like it's still the 1980s. They do nothing to grow the game. Rego fees (now above $400 a year) far surpass Aussie Rules fees and most lower soccer divisions play on subpar pitches with no referees. This means that despite good participation rates in junior soccer, kids go off and play something else as adults.

Just take a look at KGV and compare it to other codes in our state. Aussie Rules, cricket, Hockey, swimming, tennis etc all have brilliant facilities due to their governing bodies working with state politicians to get world class facilities funded. Soccer has KGV as its premier ground for local players. It's a facility that's embarrassingly outdated and I cringe anytime a club for the mainland has to play there.

Anonymous said...

Promises promises at election time. Where will they build a ground ?? Launceston, Hobart or Devonport. People from North West and North will not travel to Hobart and people from South will not travel every second week to games because the cost and if the game is played at 7.05pm you don't get home until 11.00pm. As much as I love game I will not be able to afford to attend and I don't like traveling at night