Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Super Path a Bit Rocky; the Sunshine Coast Is Looking to Secure Australia's Fifth Licence in the Super 15 . Daily Columnist Peter Slattery Examines Our Chances

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Super Path a Bit Rocky; the Sunshine Coast Is Looking to Secure Australia's Fifth Licence in the Super 15 . Daily Columnist Peter Slattery Examines Our Chances

Article excerpt

SO, the Sunny Coast Rugby Union has delivered SANZAR an "expression of interest" in gaining the fifth licence in Australia's conference for the Super 15, which will commence in 2011. This shows true vision, but how do we match up against the other contenders? Should we be popping the champagne corks, cancelling our Reds memberships and selling our Reds merchandise on eBay just yet? My goal is not to second guess or even review the SCRU's bid, but rather to examine some of the important aspects and consequences of such a bid for rugby and sport on the Coast.

People power being pushed

THE central arguments for the bid centre on the Sunny Coast being an untapped region for top-tier professional sporting franchises, us having a solid rugby community of players and supporters, with the team driven by "people power" in a region that boasts true potential for growth, both in terms of population and in developing future Wallabies. You can't help but be impressed. From my understanding, issues that are of central importance in determining who will receive the licence are: financial strength, geographical location and size of market (especially it's broadcast market), training facilities, potential for growth that will not impact too heavily on established franchises, and a state-of-the-art fifth-generation stadium with seating capacity for about 25,000. Let's have a look at a few of these categories.

Pressure will be on

FINANCIAL strength seems to be covered. But the provider of the funds may need to have deep pockets and very quick, long arms. The primary generator of revenues for Super clubs is gate takings. Although Super 15 will provide more "local derby" type home games, it still places inordinate pressure on the new franchise to perform - from the get-go.

Competition is fierce

WHAT of geographical location and size of market? Here we hit our first real obstacle for the SCRU's bid. We simply do not stack up against Melbourne, or even Western Sydney, in these categories. Although SANZAR will have final say on the awarding of the licence, News Ltd., will have a significant influence on the decision. …

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