Andrew Barr is looking for a 45,000-seat venue in Canberra.
Canberra Stadium will have a naming rights sponsor for the first time in its history when the ACT government announces a new corporate backer on Thursday for the capital's premier sporting venue.
It is understood the government has secured a deal, but it had to lower its asking price after going on a two-year search to find a financial partner.
The money from the sponsor will help subsidise upgrade works and maintenance at the home of the ACT Brumbies and Canberra Raiders.
The ageing stadium is nearing the end of its lifespan and it was originally hoped exposure in the NRL and Super Rugby would attract a price of between $500,000 and $1million a year.
But no one was willing to link with the stadium, despite it being one of the only NRL and Super Rugby venues without a naming-rights partner.
It is understood that the price tag has dropped dramatically since the search began in June 2011. The Greater Western Sydney Giants secured a naming-rights sponsor for Manuka Oval this year, but the revenue raised was injected back into the AFL club instead of Canberra.
The maintenance and upgrade costs at Canberra Stadium are about $2million a year.
The Canberra Stadium turf has been dug up in the rugby league and rugby union off-season and the ticket booths at the entry have been renovated.
The government has plans to build a new undercover multi-purpose stadium in Civic by 2020.
Fairfax Media can also reveal the government is considering a stadium design with an ''ability to scale up'' to 45,000 seats to ensure it is not shunned from any future bids to host the soccer World Cup in Australia.
The preferred plan is to build the rectangular venue on the site of the Civic Pool and have the ability to host the Canberra Raiders, ACT Brumbies, soccer, concerts, conferences, netball and basketball.
ACT Sport Minister Andrew Barr is still canvassing ideas for the design - which will likely include a clear roof - and FIFA requirements need venues with 45,000 seats to host World Cup games. Australia failed in its bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.
Barr said the ideal size for a new stadium in Canberra was between 25,000 and 30,000 seats. The ability to host World Cup games was a consideration in a flexible design, he admitted.
''We wouldn't be seeking a permanent 45,000-seat stadium, but we've examined the options for the ability to scale up for major events,'' Barr said. ''We have to look at the costs associated with that … the infrastructure has a life span of 50 years so the cost-benefit analysis would be on the basis of how often would we anticipate events that have the capacity to draw 40,000 to 45,000 fans.
''It comes down to would it be worth spending the money. Scaling up is technically feasible in different designs … then the roof comes into it.
''It can't have 45,000 permanent seats, it would lack atmosphere. We want something that will have great atmosphere when there's 15,000 people there, but also have [the ability to be scaled up].''
The soccer World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and, if Canberra hosts games, it would inject millions of dollars into the capital's economy.
''Even an optimist would suggest we'd be lucky to host one [World Cup] in 50 years,'' Barr said. ''We just need a stadium, full stop, before we start dreaming about a World Cup.''
The new venue would also likely offer 10-year stadium memberships or options to purchase ''lifetime seats''.