NSW Opposition leader Michael Daley has questioned the logic behind government plans to demolish and rebuild Allianz Stadium, as well as upgrade ANZ Stadium, to the tune of $1.5billion over the next four years.
Daley is standing firm on his criticism, despite the likes of TV broadcaster Channel 9, breakfast radio identity Alan Jones, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and NSW Rugby chief executive Andrew Hore publicly opposing his views in recent days.
However, a look at the crowd figures by Daily Mail Australia shows the NSW Opposition leader has every reason to feel vindicated.
Allianz Stadium at Moore Park, with a capacity of 45,500, only sold out once this season when hosting a National Rugby League (NRL) game – the grand final qualifier between arch-rivals Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs on September 22.
ANZ Stadium at Homebush (pictured) often resembled a ghost town for certain rugby league matches
NSW opposition leader Michael Daley (pictured) is opposed to the NSW government planning to spend $1.5billion to rebuild Allianz Stadium and upgrade ANZ Stadium
Another poor sporting crowd for an A-League football fixture at Allianz Stadium in Sydney
Countless other NRL fixtures failed to draw crowds of over 20,000, and it was the same story for home games of the NSW Waratahs (rugby union) and Sydney FC (football).
Over at the ANZ Stadium in Homebush, numbers were also on the decline.
Blockbuster rugby league games such as State of Origin game two (82,223) on June 24 and the NRL grand final (82,688) on September 30 saw the venue close to its 83,500 capacity.
But on other weekends the sporting facility resembled a ghost town, with fans and players from multiple sporting codes constantly pointing to a lack of atmosphere on game day.
Only major music acts such as Adele, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift tended to see the western Sydney venue heaving.
Speaking on Monday, Daley reiterated his promise not to fund the new stadium in Moore Park.
He also called on the Gladys Berejiklian led NSW government not to demolish the venue before the election in March next year.
‘If I’m elected Premier I will give the corporate entities, the trust, and others a loan to rebuild and refurbish it,’ told The Guardian.
‘Football fans will get the refurbished stadium, but taxpayers will not get screwed for 100 per cent of the costs.
The proposed changes at Moore Park in Sydney, due for completion in 2022
A recent Socceroos friendly against Lebanon at ANZ Stadium, in front of another poor crowd
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) is prepared to spend 1.5 billion to demolish and rebuild Allianz Stadium and also upgrade ANZ Stadium
‘The majority of people who live in NSW will never, ever step foot in one of these stadiums, but they are being asked to pay for the lot.
‘If you think people are angry in Sydney you should go and speak to people in the bush and in the regions. They are absolutely white hot on this.’
A third major sporting facility in Sydney, Western Sydney Stadium, formerly known as Parramatta Stadium – will re-open in April 2019.
An estimated $300million has been spent on the venue which will house NRL and A-League games virtually all year round.