The SA Government have picked the wrong fight.

There is no argument that the Adelaide Oval is one of the best venues in Australia. There is also no disagreement that everything should be done to attract world class events to the ground. The key words here are world class. During the week it was announced that Danny Green and Anthony Mundine would fight each other early next year in front of what they hope to be a 37 odd thousand deep crowd. Good luck with that. There are numerous reasons why this is the biggest mess the State Government has made since the electricity debacle a whole month ago. It is a decision that smells of a Sports Minister who does not actually follow sport and who is clearly out of touch with a State currently one poor financial decision away from disaster.

Firstly, Graham Cornes made a valid point during the week in that what happens if it rains on the night? Are they going to box under a marquee? It will not be particularly pleasant for all those who are going to fork out big bucks to get ringside seats if a Summer storm rolls in. Similarly, it could very well be a 40 degree day, which I do not imagine is prime boxing conditions.

Secondly, the back of the Riverbank Stand is fine for events where the whole ground is being utilised, but how about when a small area is the focus? Imagine watching two people hitting each other from the nosebleed section. There will be more injuries in the stands from craning necks than in the boxing ring itself. Perhaps nosebleeds is the theme of the night?

The bout itself is looking like a non-event. A forty one and a forty three year old hitting each other. If I wanted that, I’d just go down to the local pub on a Friday night to see some drunk men go at it. It would be very similar. Both men are past their prime and all this looks like is a quick grab for cash. Why pay big money for a dud outcome? There is absolutely no attraction in this fight. The outcome is meaningless.

The fourth serious issue with this is the fact that a Sheffield Shield game between South Australia and Western Australia is going to have to be played at Gliderol Stadium at Glenelg rather than at the Adelaide Oval. That is a huge kick in the guts for South Australian cricket. The Oval is the home of footy and cricket in this state and shunning the game away from Adelaide Oval is a clear indication Shield games will be permanently moved away from the venue over the next few years. It is almost as if the Oval has forgotten its roots and what made it great in the first place!

February is also the time of the year where Adelaide and South Australia have well and truly entered a busy period of hosting world class events. The Tour Down Under, Australia Day Cricket and Big Bash have just wrapped up. While the Adelaide Fringe, Festival of Arts, Clipsal 500 and WOMADelaide are all about to begin. There is no room on the calendar for another event. Tourism is already booming at that time of the year. Over saturating an already crowded market is a recipe for disaster.

At the end of the day world class should be the basis of spending big money on attracting events to the Adelaide Oval. World class this is not. It is an utter and terrible waste of money that serves no purpose other than risking being an absolute failure for all involved.

Are you going to go? Does it interest you? Why? Why not? Tweet me @liamthompson1 with your thoughts.

Picture – The Advertiser 


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