SCG's future as a Test venue looks bleak

Published: Friday, July 16, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Sydney:The future of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as a Test cricket venue is under threat with a bidding war likely with the Olympic Stadium for major cricket matches.

The highest bidder is expected to host Test matches and One-day Internationals from the 2005-06 season onwards.

Cricket New South Wales (NSW) on Friday said it had issued a request for tender for the provision of venues for major cricket matches in New South Wales to the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust and Ogden IFC, which operates the Olympic Stadium, in Sydney's west.

Cricket NSW is looking for a deal for either a five, seven or 10-year period.

"We believe we have a very valuable commodity, and it's about ensuring cricket flourishes in the state," Cricket NSW CEO David Gilbert said in Sydney on Friday.

"It doesn't take Einstein to work out that we've got an 82,000 capacity at Homebush (Olympic Stadium) and we have a 44,000 capacity at Moore Park (SCG), so I think the finances are fairly obvious.

"Cricket NSW has both the opportunity and duty to test the market for the right to provide facilities for major cricket matches in NSW."

Currently all Test and One-day Internationals in NSW are played at the SCG, but Cricket NSW's agreement with the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust expires on September 30, 2005.

Cricket NSW is feeling the financial drain of empty seats at its first-class matches at the SCG, and it knows a move to the larger Olympic Stadium would help the bottom line.

The SCG has hosted 91 Tests since 1881, and 118 One-day Internationals since 1978.

The growing popularity of Tests matches in recent years has forced Cricket NSW to put up the 'house full' sign often, while One-day Internationals have for a long time been sold out well before the event.

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust said it would respond to the invitation to tender and would fight to keep cricket at its traditional home.

"The Sydney Cricket Ground is confident it will retain all international matches. It makes sense for NSW cricket to test the market," Trust Chairman Rodney Cavalier said on Friday.

Write Comments