Howard pledges $25 million January 4, 2007

SCG gets federal funding for new stand

Cricinfo staff

John Howard, the Australian prime minister, has announced $25 million in Federal Government funding for the SCG's new grandstand. Howard told an SCG Trust lunch that his Government would pledge one-third of the $75 million required for the project, which will provide a 2800-head increase in the ground's capacity.

Construction on the new stand, which will be built on the site known as The Hill and will replace the existing Doug Walters stand, should begin next month and is scheduled for completion in 2008.

Howard said it would be appropriate for the New South Wales Government to chip in as well. "It is my fervent hope, nay, expectation that the Commonwealth's contribution might be matched by the New South Wales Government, and I'll leave it at that," he said, according to the ABC.

He said the SCG was an Australian sporting icon. "It is the best ground of my sporting memories by a long way - it's seen wonderful contests. It's part of Sydney, it's part of Australia - these sporting grounds are a great national treasure."