Suns fear for their future
Queensland Government stadium fees crippling clubs
AFL’S embattled Gold Coast Suns have admitted they will not survive unless the Queensland Government slashes the exorbitant stadium fees that are crippling the state’s biggest sporting clubs.
The Suns’ stunning admission comes as the LNP last night launched an attack on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, claiming fans were being ripped off and labelling Labor’s treatment of AFL, NRL, A-League and rugby clubs as a “debacle”.
As revealed yesterday, the Gold Coast Titans are weighing up their long-term tenancy at Robina due to Stadiums Queensland hiring fees, which soared to $1.3 million last year.
The shockwaves have been felt by the Titans’ major competitor on the Gold Coast, with Suns chairman Tony Cochrane conceding for the first time that the cost of playing at Metricon Stadium could bankrupt the club. A Newscorp investigation revealed the Suns’ perilous financial position and Cochrane fears expensive SQ hiring fees could drive the final nail into the club’s coffin.
“Certainly we as a club take our responsibility to the community seriously and these (stadium) costs are a massive burden to our club which are not sustainable,” Cochrane said. “The Gold Coast Suns welcomes the Premier’s initiative to find real solutions to this ongoing issue which is the heart of problems facing professional sport in Queensland.
“We are very pleased to hear the Premier announce a major shake-up of the SQ board.”
It can be revealed Queensland attendances across the major football codes last year was 3.99 million. In the LNP’s last full year in power in 2013-14, that figure was 4.46 million. It means almost halfa-million fans have collectively deserted Queensland sporting outfits the Broncos, Titans, Cowboys, Lions, Suns, Reds and Roar in the past five years.
The clubs are particularly concerned at the rising cost of ticket prices because of the Queensland Government imposing a ticketing levy for game-day public transport services.
Suns research shows almost 50 per cent of their supporters are paying a levy on a Government public-transport service they don’t use.