Sta­dium name shame

The Sunday Times - - SUNDAY SESSION - Karl Lang­don Karl Lang­don can be heard on 6PR’s Sports­day week­nights from 6pm.

THE State Gov­ern­ment has sold its soul by agree­ing to give our new jewel on the Swan a com­mer­i­cal moniker.

Op­tus Sta­dium, se­ri­ously? Is any­thing sacro­sanct?

I bet you the La­bor Gov­ern­ment heavy­weights will be cut­ting rib­bons and bang­ing their chests when the new Perth Sta­dium of­fi­cially opens.

When that hap­pens, don’t for­get Premier Mark McGowan’s La­bor in Op­po­si­tion did not want the new Perth Sta­dium built on the Bur­swood Penin­sula. If they had their way footy would be housed in an in­fe­rior op­tion at Su­bi­aco.

The Op­tus deal will pro­vide a small wind­fall, but in the scheme of things it is a pit­tance and is in ma­jor con­flict with the AFL and West Coast’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Tel­stra.

The cynic in me won­ders whether the Gov­ern­ment is try­ing to get its own back at foot­ball — the ma­jor ten­ant — for tak­ing so long to agree to a deal, by en­gag­ing with a com­peti­tor.

The re­ported $50 mil­lion wind­fall over five years will make a small im­pact on the State’s debt. I’m glad that all in­ter­na­tional cricket matches at the venue will use the Perth Sta­dium name be­cause of Cricket Aus­tralia’s con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions, which pre­vent sta­dium names be­ing used.

Maybe the AFL and its stake­hold­ers should do the same.

If the Gov­ern­ment re­ally wants to make some money and put a dent in its debt then sell Western Power. That would at least cre­ate com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket.

We have built the best sta­dium in the coun­try, a ma­jor mar­ket­ing tool to the world, and we sold it for $5 mil­lion a year for 10 years.

We could have used it to put Perth on the map, like they have with the Mel­bourne Cricket Ground and the Mel­bourne Cup. Like­wise with the Syd­ney Cricket Ground and Ade­laide Oval.

You don’t see other State gov­ern­ments hock­ing off their nam­ing rights. They are not small minded, have vi­sion and see the value of pro­mot­ing a city not a com­pany brand.

The WA Gov­ern­ment should sell ev­ery­thing it owns to a cor­po­rate part­ner. Start with Par­lia­ment House and sell it to Dodo. Sell ev­ery train sta­tion, free­way, beach and while we are at it let’s sell the Swan River, maybe to a bot­tled wa­ter com­pany. How does Mt Franklin River sound?

It’s a poor de­ci­sion that is go­ing to hurt us for the next decade.

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