Cats ca$h grab: Will a quarter billion splash pay its way?

Simonds Stadium stage 4 and 5 plans

MORE than $100 million has been spent revamping Simonds Stadium in an effort to secure AFL games at Geelong — and there’s another $140 million to go.
But for all the public cash invested at the Kardinia Park ground to date, the public is staying away in droves.
Its capacity is at 33,500 but last year the club could not attract any more than 27,402 people to games.
Now the club is looking to spend another $90 million on its next upgrade. And another $50 million on the upgrade after that.
It already has a $70 million cash splash from the incoming Andrews State Government following a football-driven election campaign toward the $90 million fourth stage. It also has $5 million from the previous Napthine government.
Now the club reportedly wants $6 million from Geelong ratepayers.
Average attendance at Geelong home games at its three venues — Simonds, the MCG and Etihad stadium — dropped from an average 36,649 in 2013 to 33,915, or 7.5 per cent, in 2014.
Now the question increasingly on people’s lips is whether ratepayers and taxpayers are getting bang for their football buck — whether a quarter of a billion dollars being spent on Simonds Stadium is worth it.
What do you think?
Do the returns justify the spending?
Are there better places that kind of money might spent?
Tell us what you think.

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