Sir Rod Eddington calls on Melbourne to upgrade its sporting precinct as rival cities catch up

eddington

Former Visit Victoria and Victorian Major Events Company chair Sir Rod Eddington has warned Melbourne needs to upgrade its major sporting precinct or risk losing major events to rival cities.

Eddington said other cities including Adelaide and Perth had looked at Melbourne’s winning formula and invested heavily in their stadiums such as Optus Stadium and Adelaide Oval.

“If we want to continue to be an attractive destination, we’ve got to continue to find ways to grow and enhance Melbourne and Victoria’s offering,’’ he told The Herald Sun.

“All the main cities in Australia understand the value of events, both sporting and culturally, and are investing in the infrastructure necessary to win them.”

Eddington said there need to be improved links between the MCG, tennis precinct and AAMI Park.

“If you look at that precinct, there are constantly discussions going on about how you could provide better linkages on both sides of the railway line … with the MCG on one side at AAMI Park the other,” he said.

“And how we could invest in not only the facilities for the players but the spectators and supporters who come along.’’

Eddington has called on Melbourne to keep raising the bar when it came to its sporting precinct, including attracting mega events such as the soccer World Cup to Australia for the first time.

“I mean we had a crack at it before and came up very well short, but you just have to make the case,” he said.

“We’ve got world class facilities and we have the people both in Victoria and around Australia who are deeply experienced in running world class events.

“One of the reasons we continue to attract global events is because if you’re an event owner, you know if you bring that event to Australia it will be a success both economically but also in terms of enhancing the activity itself.”