Tim Sperliotis

Tottenham’s clash with Manchester City on Monday night was played at Wembley Stadium, a day after an NFL match was held at the venue.

As a result, field markings were still visible, and it was not easy for viewers to watch, both at the stadium and on TV.

This has been a problem that Australian football has faced throughout the years and brings to light the debate about whether clubs should own their own stadiums.

Recently in Australian football, surfaces have been clearly affected by the holding of other sports and concerts, and this is the result of clubs playing at multi-purpose stadiums.

Just today, it was announced that legendary rock band Kiss will host a concert at Coopers Stadium next November, which falls during Adelaide United’s season. United may play away from home during this period, however it will affect the quality of the surface at the ground.

A-League expansion hopefuls Western Melbourne Group have detailed in their plans that they intend to construct a privately-funded stadium to support their bid. This would be a small but important step towards a quality experience both on and off the pitch.

A major benefit of a club owning their own stadium is that they can control what can be held at the venue. If they believe the event will compromise the quality of the pitch, they have the option of declining the offer. It will reduce the number of matches played on a surface that is reminiscent of a cow paddock.

In addition, the construction of the stadium can be suited to the club’s needs. For example, they can install seats that match their colours and club paraphernalia can be placed around the venue. This is seen in stadiums throughout the world, which offers a unique football experience.

Finally, the capacity of the stadium can be tailored to the club’s popularity. The likelihood of playing a match at a venue where the number of seats outnumber amount of fans present will lessen. It would be much more appealing to attend and watch on TV.

Australia has so many great multi-purpose stadiums, however many are not suited to football and are affected by other events that take place.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com