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By Editor in on 28 Oct 2008

AAMI Stadium's upgrade is in doubt as the State Government reconsiders its $100 million pledge to the arena, while the public again demands a brand new complex. State Treasurer Kevin Foley yesterday declared the funds allocated in the Budget in June were up for review in reaction to the $2 billion hole burned in state finances by the world economic crisis. AAMI Stadium

"The Government is considering all existing capital works projects in light of the collapse of world markets," Mr Foley told The Advertiser yesterday. The removal of a government guarantee for financing AAMI Stadium's upgrade to modern international standards created concern last night among the venue's owner, the SANFL, and its prime users, the Adelaide and Port Adelaide AFL football clubs.

Their concerns come as widespread support for a new multi-purpose city stadium gathers momentum across the state, spurred on by Adelaide United's entry into the Asian Champions League final. SANFL chief executive Leigh Whicker has sought assurances from Premier Mike Rann to not make any decision on AAMI Stadium until final plans for the redevelopment were completed in the next month.

An artist's impresssion of the AAMI Stadium lighting upgradeAdelaide chief executive Steven Trigg vowed AAMI Stadium would remain the Crows' home and declared "strong support" for the redevelopment. Port president Greg Boulton supported Mr Foley's review but said the AAMI upgrade was "a positive for the SA community - in the short and long term". Most critical in the AAMI Stadium saga will be the long-awaited audit from Football Federation of Australia on the venue's suitability for World Cup soccer. If the audit reveals AAMI Stadium will need more than $100 million to bring it up to FIFA's standards for international soccer, Mr Foley will have reason to stall the upgrade.

"We understand the pressure on all governments at this time. But we are very optimistic that once the Government sees the plans it will appreciate this project is an investment that should not be deferred. "To do nothing now at AAMI Stadium would cause more damage to the state's standing in sport. The most responsible option is to invest in an upgrade in AAMI Stadium. In these times of economic uncertainty it certainly is not wise to be looking at a new, billion-dollar, multi-purpose venue."

Mr Trigg said Mr Foley's review would not delay the Crows' work on a $16 million redevelopment of its facilities on the eastern flank of the stadium. "We're strongly supportive of the upgrade of AAMI Stadium for the people of South Australia and we are here for the long run," Mr Trigg said.

Mr Boulton said any delay to AAMI Stadium's upgrade would not prompt the Power to consider a move to Adelaide Oval, as recommended by its former chief executive John James.

Source & More: www.news.com.au

Read more articles in , by Editor or from October 2008.



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