JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

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.

Related Coverage

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
Featured advertisers