Replacing the Civic Olympic pool with a purpose-built stadium as a future home for the Brumbies and Raiders appears certain to be part of Canberra's long-term infrastructure plans, with both major political parties agreeing the site remained their preferred option.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said a feasibility study exploring a site in the city and at Exhibition Park found both locations were live options, but Civic remained his preference.
Mr Barr warned a stadium at Exhibition Park ran the risk of becoming like the Sydney Olympic Park, unless significant investment was put into the area to make it an active precinct.
"But having said that, there is a suburb, Kenny, that's planned on the other side. You have Franklin, Harrison, Watson, Downer - there is activity around it. It's possible to build a precinct," Mr Barr said.
"In broad terms, Exhibition Park has plenty of land so would be feasible as a venue. It doesn't have the site constraints that the city site does. But you can still build a stadium on the city site, it's just tighter, the seating will need to be narrower and we'd still have to address the Parkes Way issue," he said.
Liberal leader Alastair Coe echoed Mr Barr's view, saying "if we were to have a new stadium, then the Civic site is the optimal location even though it presents some issues".
An indoor rectangular stadium on the site of Civic pool has long been earmarked as the possible future home for the Brumbies, Raiders and, potentially, a Canberra A-League soccer team.
But a Civic stadium would present a number of logistical challenges.
The existing site is too small for a 25,000-seat so-called boutique stadium, meaning the government would need to secure Commonwealth support for a realignment of Parkes Way, or send the dual carriageway underneath the development site, to free up more space.
The federal government earmarked money in Tuesday's budget for work related to the Parkes Way realignment, Mr Barr said.
The physical constraints of the Civic pool site also has implications for the type of playing surface used in the stadium.
Unlike Exhibition Park or Bruce, a stadium on the Civic pool site would have to run on an east-west orientation, which is not ideal for growing and maintaining natural grass because it focuses intense heat on the pitch and would potentially "cook" the grass.
Playing on artificial surfaces was also problematic both for the NRL and Super Rugby.
Mr Barr said he expected the feasibility study, which examined the city and Exhibition Park as potential stadium sites, to be sitting on the desk of the incoming government after the ACT election.
Bipartisan support for a Civic-located stadium is welcome news for key Exhibition Park events such as Summernats, the National Folk Festival and the Royal Canberra Show.
Although the co-owner of Summernats, Andy Lopez, was ambivalent as to whether or not Exhibition Park was a potential future site for a stadium because he did not see such a development having an impact on his event, he could now feel more confident in securing long-term tenure at the 77-hectare Mitchell venue.
Securing that medium to long-term tenure had been a long-running frustration for the Summernats organiser while the government's stadium feasibility study was under way.
"Us [Summernats] and Canberra Show have put a lot of money and effort into the place [Exhibition Park]," he said.
As one of its pre-election pledges, Labor has promised a 10,000-square-metre indoor structure at Exhibition Park which would accommodate, in non-pandemic times, around 1500 people for standing community events, and provide a seated option for up to 1000. A commercial kitchen and community kitchen would be installed.
Mr Barr on Saturday said the investment signalled Labor's commitment to the continued use of the site.
"[My vision is] first and foremost that it remain the premier exhibition and events centre for the city, and that's why we made the decision to locate a new and much larger major events centre there," he said.
Mr Lopez said: "I think it's awesome; all the tenants have been asking them to do something like this for some time; to invest, to put a significant structure in
"It was really good news ... this would be a really good addition. It's a piece of infrastructure the facility really needs."