Canberra might have to settle for a Civic stadium holding 20,000 or less, with ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr saying all three options the ACT government were considering had problems.
The government commissioned a feasibility study into a new stadium in Canberra, looking into options at the Canberra Olympic pool site in Civic, a new stadium at Exhibition Park and remaining at the current Canberra Stadium site in Bruce.
Barr said there was no "perfect solution" with each option having advantages and flaws.
While a new Civic stadium would be the preferred option, its size would be restricted.
Barr said it could be limited to a capacity of just 20,000 - even if a steep seating model like the new Parramatta Stadium was used.
They could potentially make it a bit bigger, if they adopted an even steeper model - like what's used for some baseball stadiums in the USA.
Either way, Parkes Way would need to move.
Canberra Stadium currently holds about 25,000 people.
"There is no perfect solution that addresses everything that everyone wants so there is a little bit more thought that needs to go into the trade-offs," Barr told The Canberra Times.
"What are we prepared to trade off? If we want the city site then we're having a smaller, more compact stadium.
"You're probably talking 20,000 or less. If you want something that's scaleable - 25,000 to 30,000 - then you need a bigger site - or you have to have a really steep US baseball park-type facility.
"They're some of the trade-offs. The other thing is regardless you will have to do something with Parkes Way. It will have to move and the extent of how much it moves dictates how much wiggle room you have for a stadium."
The ACT government has extended its Canberra Stadium lease, which Barr said they would need to keep using for at least four or five years.
Barr said a Civic stadium had the obvious advantages of helping reinvigorate the city.
That could be especially important in the current climate, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting businesses - especially restaurants and bars.
Plus it would be connected to Canberra's transport network.
That wasn't the case for either of the other models, but they didn't have the space problem.
Barr said a precinct would need to be built around Exhibition Park for it to be a viable option.
"The alternatives is the government could buy some of the land at Bruce ... and seek to redevelop Bruce Stadium on that site," Barr said.
"Or you could move to the other site we've examined, which is Exhibition Park ... but it's not necessarily that much more advantageous from doing something at Bruce or in the city."