The AFL, Macquarie Point & Hobart’s CBD

The AFL, Macquarie Point & Hobart’s CBD

The debate around the proposed Macquarie Point AFL stadium has maintained a strong hold on the local discourse since it was first announced, but has recently added another notable voice to it’s campaign.

President of the AFL’s Adelaide Crows, John Olsen, has publicly come out in support of the proposal citing the success of the $535m redevelopment of Adelaide Oval and Perth’s $1.6bn state-of-the-art Optus Stadium. Stating that they each had energised their respective cities and had initiated sizeable economic boons for both.

With one stipulation however, Mr Olsen said a multi-functional venue was key to the project’s success. The $750m stadium proposed for Macquarie Point in Hobart as the home of a Tasmanian AFL team, would as well play host to cricket, concerts, conferences and festivals. “New, modern stadiums increase crowds and are able to host a whole range of events,” Mr Olsen said.

The economical runoff effect of these large scale events is not easily dismissed. As Olsen says, “You just need to look at the track record in Adelaide and Perth and how valuable they are for economic development and the creation of tourism within a city and the engagement of local people. Attendances went up and after events. people go back to cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels in the CBD because it is within walking distance.”


The essential elements in the proposal’s success, Olsen says, rest in both the location and the effectiveness of public transport. Stating “Putting the stadium in the city, attached to the CBD in Adelaide, with public transport feeding into a central point in the city, meant more people were able to go to the stadium and attend events.” 


Live events and entertainment in Tassie

While we Tasmanians are no strangers to being left off the invite list when it comes to high profile musical talent or the entertainment options of the mainland, Launceston-born Australian music promoter Michael Chugg says that doesn’t have to remain so.

“Being a Tasmanian, I always try to bring shows down there but it’s very hard,’ he said. Citing the ongoing debate surrounding the proposed Macquarie Point AFL stadium, Chugg has stated that the proposed stadium may not be enough to get Tasmania the prominent acts like the rest of the country.

“If you’re going to build a stadium, it’s going to be around for at least 50 years. I think building a 23,000-seater stadium just seems a bit silly to me,” he said. “If you’re going to have a stadium build it so it’s still not small in 30 years.” Suggesting that such performers wouldn’t find it economically feasible to visit the state, unless the 30,000-seat mark was reached at the very least.

While voicing a healthy amount of scepticism for Tasmania’s future entertainment prospects while talking to The Mercury, Chugg maintained that the process would inevitably be a gradual one. “I’m not suggesting once we build the stadium, we’re immediately going to be included in every future Coldplay or Ed Sheeran tour that comes to Australia. But with an all-weather, modern venue, we will inevitably attract our share of major touring acts that currently do not even give us a second look.”