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Lions nightmare fuels groundswell for undercover stadium

Supporters watch the Brumbies take on the British and Irish Lions at Canberra Stadium.

Supporters watch the Brumbies take on the British and Irish Lions at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Melissa Adams

A logistics nightmare surrounding the British and Irish Lions match has prompted fresh calls for an undercover stadium in Canberra to ensure the capital can attract blockbuster events.

The ARU pinpointed almost 12 months ago the Lions' trip to the capital to play the ACT Brumbies would be a problem for Canberra Stadium's capacity to handle increased crowds and media.

Organisers were faced with a long list of hurdles to accommodate an international fixture and Territory Venues general manager Neale Guthrie declared a new venue was a ''necessity''.

The ACT government has plans to build a rectangular stadium with a roof by 2020.

It would be able to host rugby union, league and soccer, as well as concerts and conventions.

It would cost $220 million, but it would have the capacity to earn revenue every day of the year as opposed to Canberra Stadium, which earns money only for Brumbies and Raiders games.

But it would be bigger than Canberra Stadium, which was built in 1977.

While Sydney and Brisbane got to host the Lions on a Saturday night, the Lions' trip to Canberra to play against Australia's best Super Rugby team - the Brumbies - was relegated to a Tuesday night.

The ARU had to hire the AIS Arena for post-match media commitments and rip out seats in the Meninga Stand and replace them with media tribunes to accommodate journalists.

Two temporary television suites had to be erected at the northern end of the ground and the limited undercover seating could have deterred fans from turning up in sub-zero temperatures.

Canberra Stadium added 10 food and drink outlets around the ground after complaints following the Anzac rugby league Test match in the capital in April.

''We've worked with the ARU in the past for Wallabies Test matches [in 2009 and 2010] and it's rolling out how we expected,'' Guthrie said.

''A covered venue … 15 years ago people would come to the footy even if it was cold. But these days you can stay at home in front of a big flat-screen television or go to a club or pub.

''The comparable bit for us is to [make the experience] drier and much warmer.''

The three major sporting codes which use rectangular venues - rugby, league and soccer - all have different requirements for setting up the stadium.

Guthrie said a new stadium had to be flexible ''to adapt to everything they need, and we lack a lot of the basic infrastructure''.

All hotel rooms in the capital were sold out this week, with 5000 rooms full.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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