MIDCOAST Council's Mega Events Team (MET) met in the bowels of the Massive Council Complex (MCC) off Biripi Way recently. The subject was the NRL grand final and how council could sway the NRL into moving it to this Local Government Area due to the COVID outbreak in Brisbane.
"They're talking about moving the grand final to Townsville if Brisbane is ruled out,'' MET's chief operating officer said. "Why can't they come here?'' There was the slight matter of border closures to take into account, but the chief operating officer was sure that was a hurdle and not a mountain.
However, the junior member of the MET was somewhat confused. "If, in the unlikely event, they move the grand final here, where would we play it?,'' the junior member asked.
The chief operating officer glared at the junior member.
"Stop being so negative, we have hundreds of suitable venues,'' the chief operating officer fired back.
"Taree Recreation Centre - what a great location.''
"No grandstands, not even a scoreboard,'' the junior member replied.
"Wingham Sporting Complex,'' countered the chief operating officer.
"Um, you know the work we said would be completed there two years ago. Well, we haven't started yet,'' the junior member replied.
"Jack Neal Oval?'' countered the chief operating officer.
"Drive past it. You'll soon see why that's a no-no. There hasn't been much work done there since the Whitlam era,'' the junior member continued.
"Manning Entertainment Centre? They've just got some money to improve spectator facilities there,'' the chief operating officer hit back, sounding increasingly confident. "The GF at the MEC, what an advertising slogan that'll be.''
"Might be alright for the Dally Ms, but not sure it's a great venue for footy,'' the junior member replied.
The chief operating officer was by now perplexed. "So what would council need to get a mega sporting event here?'' the chief operating officer asked.
"A 21st century sporting facility would be a good start,'' the junior member replied. "That's why Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour always get these gigs. Council needs to spend some money or attract some big money to establish a state of the art, you beaut, multi-purpose sporting facility.''
"Is that so,'' the chief operating officer pondered. "We were hoping to get the final of the women's (football) World Cup here in a couple of years, but if you're right, that'll be out of the question as well.''
"Totally,'' the junior member replied.
"So we need a decent sporting facility,'' the chief operating officer mused.
"Has anyone told council this?''