Report: Petition to lift restrictions on concerts at Suncorp StadiumPosted: April 12, 2015
Suncorp Stadium, a venue upgraded less then a decade ago to be the primary sporting venue in the City could be about to head in a different direction with reports today that the State Government was considering lifting restrictions on the number of concerts at the venue.
A survey, commissioned by the State Government was today launched online (link) with the purpose of gauge the amount of interest in how the venue was to be used, and how many concerts should be permitted in a calendar year.
The Government trumpeted the economic benefit of hosting concerts at the venue, while also asserting their belief that more concerts would not have an adverse impacts on the playing surface.
Today’s announcement comes on the back of a midweek announcement that AC/DC would be retuning to Brisbane at the end of the year, but due to the current restriction on the number of concerts allowed in a calendar year they were forced to move their three concerts to QSAC.
Currently, Suncorp is permitted to host up to four concerts a year, with two held in February of this year, with one more confirmed for December and rumours of more over the 2015-16 A-League season. Since the stadium re-opened in 2003, the Stadium has held 11 concerts, all of which have been throughout the A-League season.
The affects of those concerts have been significant, with the Roar forced to re-shuffle fixtures after the conformation of their season draw regularly, with the latest example being their decision to move their home games in the Asian Champions League to the Gold Coast.
The Roar were also forced to shift their first ever finals game around with a concert by The Police back in 2008 forcing the two legged tie against Sydney to be played backwards, with the Sky Blues forced to play at home first despite earning home advantage in the second leg.
It’s not Brisbane Roar that are disadvantaged by the current arrangement of the stadium, with the AFC’s showpiece event, January’s Asian Cup, subjected to a sub standard surface here in Brisbane which was roundly panned by everyone associated with the tournament.
The playing surface for the January tournament was a particular disappointment, with no concerts and only one football game Dec 30- over the month preceding the tournament, allowing ample time for the necessary preparation work to be done.
Should the proposed changes get the go ahead, which they likely will, the changes to the venues strategy could result in affect not just for the Roar, but also the Red and Broncos who call the venue home.
Even with the concerts likely to be held outside of the rugby codes season’, the effects of having so many concerts could leave the playing surface worse for wear. There is also the added likelihood of more crossover between games, with several A-League games likely to be thrown into the middle of their seasons, resulting in the possibility of 2 or 3 games over 72 hours on a regular basis.
So, given the recent events, is it time for a second rectangular stadium here in Brisbane, and is it time for the Roar to consider leaving the ground they’ve called home since their first game in 2005?
The current situation bares some comparison to Melbourne a decade or so ago, when their stadia wasn’t sufficient to handle the amount of traffic, so the state government spent 190million on the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium to house Melbourne Victory, City, Strom and Rebels.
If Suncorp is insistent on capturing the high profile –and high profit- musical acts away from the Exhibition centre and QSAC, then perhaps a secondary sporting field is the way to go.
From the Roar’s point of view, they should absolutely consider all of their options. Not just with today’s news in mind, but also what is now a catalogue of signs the stadium really doesn’t care if they stay or not.
From what I can tell, Brisbane is in the final year of a 5 year arrangement to play home games at the Milton venue, with this ABC news clip from late 2010 the last bit of news I can remember seeing on the matter.
They will however have to make the best of playing at the stadium in the short term at least, with no alternative venue currently in existence, or the pipeline. Moves on that front have began however, with a section of supporters making the first steps in recent weeks.
Last month, the leadership of the Den started an online petition on this very topic, citing Perry Park as an ideal location
for a 25-30k seat stadium which could become the new home for the Roar and others looking for an alternative to Suncorp Stadium. If you haven’t read or signed the petition- it’s here.
In the end today’s news doesn’t change to much, it was clear over the summer that the stadium preferred the odd concert opposed to the regular patronage the Roar provide throughout the summer months. The Stadium and the State Government may claim that the playing surface is the best in Australia and extra concerts would have no impact, but one look at the surface this summer would give you an entirely different picture. The timing of this does however provide a chance to press the claims of a second rectangular stadium here in Brisbane.