Supercross over stadium use

WHEELIE PUMPED: Supercross rider Dean Ferris at Kardinia Park Stadium. (Rebecca Hosking) 182044_01

By Luke Voogt

Kardinia Park Stadium Trust has announced its first off-season event for 2018/2019 following accusations of “appalling“ under-use of the revamped ground.

Former Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons lambasted the trust’s performance on Twitter last week, posting that it had “done nothing”.

“It’s been an appalling waste of money,” he tweeted.

State and federal governments and other organisations have invested $177 million in redeveloping the stadium’s stands since 2003.

Estimates for the final stage of the stadium’s redevelopment range from $90 million to $100 million, bringing the total investment to more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

The Victorian Government established the trust in 2016 to administer the stadium.

“The stadium is amazing but hugely under-utilized and that was the trust’s job,” Mr Lyons said.

But trust chief executive officer Michael Brown refused to engage with Mr Lyons, instead focussing on the return of the Australian Supercross Championship to the stadium.

“The trust respects the rights of social media users, but does not feel it necessary to respond to commentary such as this,” he said.

Mr Brown joined an announcement on Wednesday as Australian Supercross competitors rode across the ground performing wheelies for the cameras.

“We are thrilled to have Supercross back at GMHBA Stadium,” he said.

“Fans will enjoy an action-packed night of entertainment in front of the newly-redeveloped Brownlow Stand.”

The national series comes to the stadium when it hosts the Victorian leg on 13 October.

“Wednesday’s Supercross announcement was the beginning of an exciting calendar of events to be held at GMHBA Stadium during the AFL off-season,” Mr Brown said yesterday.

But he declined to say what these events would be.

“This is Australia’s best regional Stadium and the beating heart of the Geelong sporting community,” he said.

“We are excited for yet another opportunity to showcase the Stadium’s multipurpose capabilities on a national stage.”

Troy Bayliss Events will put on the night featuring an Australian-first triple-crown competition format.

The company’s namesake and three-time World Superbike Champion was at Kardinia Park on Wednesday for the announcement.

“We think this is the perfect venue for fans to get up close and personal with the sport,“ he said.

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