The future of the Sydney Cricket Ground August 5, 2004

SCG to fight for international matches

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Two legends at a legendary venue © Getty Images

The Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust has warned that moving of Test and one-day international matches away from the SCG would have severe shortand long-term financial and commercial consequences for cricket in Australia.

The Trust confirmed that it would be submitting a tender for the retention of Test and ODI matches at the SCG, and said that cricket administrators must look deeply into the full financial ramifications of a shift away from Sydney's traditional home of cricket, a venue regarded with affection throughout the cricket world.

Rodney Cavalier, the Trust's chairman, said the potential benefits of a larger venue had been overstated and that any move away from the SCG could have a significant negative impact for cricket. "Cricket administrators should not allow themselves to be fooled by the line that a bigger-capacity venue offers a better financial return," he warned. "We don't need to build an economic model of what happens with an 80,000 capacity. There is a ground with that capacity in Melbourne. It's called the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with a capacity of 96,308 prior to reconstruction.

"Over the past five years, the average Test-match crowd per day at the MCG was 33,834, and the average one-day international crowd was 38,805 - both well within the capacity of the SCG. Our records from last season show that it took four months to sell 50% of tickets to the second one-day international final at the SCG - 13% of tickets were still available a week out from the match."