Game On! Why Adelaide Needs the Commonwealth Games

The 2018 Commonwealth Games are set to be held in the sporting capital of Australia, the Gold Coast. Hang on. What? No. The Gold Coast isn’t even in the top 5 for sporting capitals of Australia. If the party capital can host the big event, surely so could Adelaide.

Hot on the heels of the success of the redeveloped Adelaide Oval, a Reds A-League win and an reinvigorated NBL, there’s been no better time for a Commonwealth Games bid.

We live in a state that could use jobs more than anything right now. It’s beyond crisis point. I don’t think some people realise quite how bad it is.

Just think, a purpose built soccer stadium for the Reds and Socceroos, a brand new venue for the Sixers and Thunderbirds to share and a massive velodrome to host world class cycling events that can compliment the Tour Down Under. We’ve already got a world class swimming centre at Marion. Location not perfect, but it’s there.

Jobs would be created in building these structures and created to run these venues before, during and after the event.

There was already a half commitment at the last election to extend the tram line to all parts of the city. Accessibility wouldn’t be an issue. It might even help Adelaide have a decent public transport system. Imagine that! (Yeah I know we can dream).

Yes it will be expensive. But so is having thousands of people unemployed, no economy and no reason to visit the state. The flow on benefits to the regions could be enormous. And unlike the Games, everyone leaves with the gold medal.

It’s a idea that, if successful could have long lasting benefits over the next few decades. It might fasten up what is quickly becoming another drawn out saga in the Riverbank redevelopment. A bid might encourage a bigger bridge to be built across the Torrens (who decided a narrow bridge would work in the first place) and encourage new hotel chains to set up in Adelaide with the greater tourism demand.

It would also ensure big international events have a reason to call Adelaide home. There have been some massive gains in recent times with the Adelaide Fringe Festival, WOMADelaide and the Clipsal 500. All attracting masses of interstate and international names and guests.

Adelaide Oval proved that if you build it, they will come. And a Commonwealth Games bid is just the opening to years of success for the state. We can’t afford not to.

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