Richardson admits concern with Tassie bid as premier confirms stadium won't be in bid

Richardson admits concern with Tassie bid as premier confirms stadium won’t be in bid

The official bid Tasmania will put to the AFL will not include a new stadium, according to state premier Jeremy Rockliff.

While a stadium will likely be built in the future, Rockliff confirmed on Wednesday that it would not be part of the initial bid.

“The stadium is not part of our bid. But of course the stadium is there to support AFL content in the future,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“A stadium is an important part of an AFL team, we’re committed to that. That’s why we’ve got the feasibility study.”

While Colin Carter’s report into a 19th license in Tasmania stated the bid should not be contingent on a new stadium, the AFL has made it clear that one needs to be in the mix.

Richmond great and Tasmanian Matthew Richardson admits he is worried about the success of the bid.

“So they obviously can’t come up with the (money) right now. They think that they need a stadium, but they want to get this proposal in to the commission and the presidents, and (the stadium) can’t go ahead until they’ve got the funding,” Richardson told sportsday.

“Gillon (McLachlan) has said that success is contingent on the stadium, so that’s a real concern now for this bid going forward you would think.”

Brownlow Medalist Gerard Healy added that the push for a 19th license has lost considerable steam since the departure of premier Peter Gutwein.

“This has moved immeasurably since Peter Gutwein left office,” Healy said.

“It seems to me that either they’ve worked out that it is politically untenable to trump up $750 million (for a stadium), and their first crack was we’re going to pay 50 per cent, and now they’re trying to get a deal up that doesn’t have a stadium included.

“I think if you’re sitting around the AFL table, you’d be saying ‘the only time we’re ever going to have the leverage to get a new stadium is before we rubber stamp the team’.

“I think the license was always contingent on the new stadium being built and I think it is different to taking the Hawks and the Kangaroos down there because they are part of the footy economy as it stands right now.

“To get a new franchise with $50 million down in Tassie up and running, as a 19th side, which creates all kinds of issues for the AFL, I think you’d want to have the security of the brand new glamor stadium.”

Richardson agreed with the Gutwein comment, adding: “As soon as he left, it felt like momentum was lost straight away, didn’t it?”

A formal presentation will be made to the AFL club presidents before the end of August.