Central Coast Stadium

Discussion in 'Central Coast Mariners FC' started by pjennings, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. pjennings

    pjennings Well-Known Member

    Central Coast Mariners launch bid to become first A-League club to own their own stadium at Gosford
    Tom Smithies, The Daily Telegraph
    an hour ago [​IMG]
    THE Central Coast Mariners have launched a bold bid to become the only club in the A-League to own their own stadium.

    Three years after taking control of the club, owner Mike Charlesworth has approached the newly formed Central Coast Council about buying the Mariners’ home ground, Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, or at the very least taking control of its management on a long-term deal.

    Just days before the start of the new season, Charlesworth has pledged to invest in rebranding the stadium, putting a roof over its uncovered end and ultimately staging more events at the stadium, if negotiations can be concluded. The club also wants to exploit its position at Brisbane Water with the creation of a retail precinct.

    Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth at the club’s grand final parade in 2013.

    The Mariners pay a fee to be effectively the stadium’s only tenant, but have no access to the match-day revenues from food and drink outlets. Though the club finished bottom of the league last season, it already owns its own training facilities at the centre of excellence in Tuggerah.

    Charlesworth said he had yet to receive a detailed response from the council, which is being run by an administrator since the forced amalgamation of Gosford and Wyong Councils until elections are held in September next year.

    The Mariners fear a decision will be put off until an elected council is formed, but Charlesworth - who has built and let a range of office and leisure space at the club’s centre of excellence - said a deal could generate a “snowball” of economic benefits for the city.

    “One of the biggest problems in Australian sport is that clubs don’t typically own stadiums, the councils do,” Charlesworth said. “That means you can’t invest in what is someone else’s product, and you can’t drive the revenues that such investment would subsequently reap.

    New Mariners coach Paul Okon at Central Coast Stadium.

    “We’re the only tenant at Central Coast Stadium, and they put on about 10-12 events a year there - it’s nowhere near enough to justify its existence apart from for us. So we just made the natural move, and said either give us the management rights, so we can drive new content and make the stadium our own - paint it yellow for example - or let us acquire the whole stadium.

    “The council to my knowledge are working out what they want to do, while it’s an interim administration, but we don’t want to hang around.

    “I don’t know whether they’d want to keep the asset, or whether the local community has a strong feeling about it being in private or public hands. But we’d put the money in to change the seats to the right colour, we’d look at putting a roof on the end where our home fans sit. We can’t even change the colour of the stadium as things stand.”

    The ownership of boutique stadiums was seen as central to the growing financial strength of the MLS in America, and Charlesworth said the Mariners would have more incentive to increase the use of Central Coast Stadium as its owner.

    “The council don’t have the resources to do much with the stadium,” he said. “They’ve been running it for 20 years and haven’t attracted other content. What they’re trying to do is trying to rebuild Gosford centre, with plans for a lot of new infrastructure and trying to revitalise it. What better way than to have as many events as possible, sporting or otherwise?”

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    • Winner Winner x 5
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  2. dibo

    dibo Well-Known Member

    OK MC, now we're in business. If you can fund the thing through retail / entertainment development on the waterfront then we're actually talking turkey.

    You look at what Hindmarsh has had with doing all the red seats, and consider that if the Mariners had management rights they could then get a naming rights sponsor that suits the club and then do up the seating to reward the sponsor and collect the cash. If we were able to develop the site with improved corporate facilities that would be mega. A roof over the northern end to keep the atmosphere in would be mega mega.
    • Agree Agree x 5
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    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. shipwreck

    shipwreck Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure the seats still spell out BEARS don't they?

    This would be great, any positive press is a winner, but I fear he is right, I can't imagine an interim administration of the council making any decisions, but atleast we have thrown down our intent.
  4. dibo

    dibo Well-Known Member


    The stadium cost $30m to build in 1999. Inflation adjusted, that's $47m, and that doesn't include the land value. I can't see a *sale* being done for less than $60m or so.

    That's before you get to the fact that a public asset would be transferring from public to private hands.

    I think management rights are the more realistic aim both financially and politically, but there are deals that can be done that allow the tenant to manage the facility and drive revenue, and I think there are ways that the tenant can bring money to the table to get facility development done too.
  5. sydmariner

    sydmariner Well-Known Member

    yes they do
  6. pjennings

    pjennings Well-Known Member

    Yep - I can't see an outright buy happening - but the other options would all be possible.
  7. FFC Mariner

    FFC Mariner Well-Known Member

    99 year management rights deal or the like would be better. Saves the council whatever they pay x 99 = the released "value" of the sale.

    Key is to drive it through before the elections and we end up with the usual furniture salesmen or worse.

    Im sure there is a reason why it isnt used for concerts or festivals and with the waterfront development that Gosford council abjectly failed to get built, Its a winner for the coast economy.
  8. VicMariner

    VicMariner Well-Known Member

    This exciting and proactive. Full ownership or management rights, whatever, MC is pushing in the right direction.
    Love/hate MC continues.....hats off to him this time.....
  9. dibo

    dibo Well-Known Member

    It's not as much Council as Frank Sartor f**king up and then developers failing to follow through on DAs.
  10. Big Al

    Big Al Well-Known Member

    Tried it when Lawrie was Mayor and didn't get any where.

    It's an opportunistic play to the holding administration.

    The garbo's tried to negotiate there jobs pretty much straight away and the council held firm said we not responsible and we not making decisions. The holding council is very much doing nothing radical in there term.

    However the stadium is a depreciating asset that will need major rejuvenation in say 10yrs time and this is where accountants like to palm off assets so there is a mathematical chance.

    The GFC may have hurt the other partners but the property increases of recent times and central coast development might just be paying off for Mike.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. midfielder

    midfielder Well-Known Member

    God I hope he can pull this off ....
    • Agree Agree x 4
  12. Forum Phoenix

    Forum Phoenix Well-Known Member

    Exactly what is needed.
    Need someone at council with vision to drive this through.
    Politically for whoever does it, it would be a very popular move.
    I think it's also incredibly well deserved by the Mariners for all they have given to the coast. From infrastructure and development to community identity and pride.

    Good luck MC and co. I hope they're considering leveraging CC public opinion to help get this through.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  13. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

    Perhaps with Lawrie's departure, & the previous animosity between the pair
    - may explain why MC now giving it another go.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. RECKY

    RECKY I'm an idiot savant without the pesky savant bit

    Indeed Rowdy with Laurie now out of the picture the odds have improved a bit...let's hope someone with clarity of thought sees the offer as a deadset positive and pushes it through, probably, as a 99 year lease...Dibo put the estimate of $67 million on the joint and that's a bit much to fork out .....fingers crossed for ya .Charlesworth (and I never thought I'd say that)
  15. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

    BUYING - absolutely, positively ends the 'relocation' fears & speculation of our beloved club.

    MANAGEMENT RIGHTS - not quite so, but nevertheless an extremely shrewd business decision from MC, especially from a 'club viability' aspect
    - when coupled with the negative media of last season, in that the Mariners as a club are a basket-case, should be relegated etc.etc

    It’s reminisce, (but a reversal) of that old adage of:
    "why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free"

    Charlesworth contemplating buying (or having Stadium management rights) of the cow means he can profit from selling the milk ( :cheers: ) , the food & have full control over the quality and price of both.

    NO MORE clashes/ruined pitch coming off the back of a Neanderthal Rugby League game.
    - In fact, if the Mariners recieve a draw similar to this years where we might not play at home for 3 weeks or have sell-off a 'Regional Rnd' game like we have previously &/or Canberran games, THEY would be the weekends to host NRL games , allowing a decent amount of time for pitch recovery.
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  16. dibo

    dibo Well-Known Member

    The funny thing is that if the venue were under our management, we'd probably be hawking more events to other tenants in order to drive revenue.

    Other sporting events (e.g. rugby 7s), concerts, even things like when we next make a Grand Final that we're not hosting, we could open the gates and show it on the big screen...
    • Agree Agree x 4
  17. scottmac

    scottmac Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Just needs to be managed properly. CCS has one of the best football surfaces in the country and it would be a shame to lose that.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Timmah

    Timmah Well-Known Member

    I doubt that would fly - any management team worth their salt, regardless of their primary interest - would want to attract as many events as possible. It would be in CCM/MC's interests to get more NRL played at the ground. Ideally that would be between April and August of course.
  19. dibo

    dibo Well-Known Member

    Longer term, it'd actually be awesome to rebuild the northern end closer to the pitch.

    The new plan for the Olympic Stadium renovation is to re-do the whole thing so the lower bowl puts everyone close to the action, and the ends will retract to make room for the rugby codes when required. But the sightlines will be optimised for football (the reality is that everyone benefits - the only seats lost to the rugby codes are literally the worst seats in the ground - at ground level behind the dead ball line - while all the other seats behind the goals will have a better view of the field).

    If we could do a similar thing, we could get a 'kop-style' single tier covered end, with room to have bars, food, toilets etc. behind the stand, without demolishing the bowling club. Make it steep (so it's tall to match the wings, you've got better sightlines and more room under the stand for facilities) with a roof over it. It'd help atmosphere too and make the stand a desirable place to be rather than the seats of last resort.
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  20. dibo

    dibo Well-Known Member

    If it were bringing in more money, sure. But wasn't the stadium paying clubs to take NRL games there? That'd stop, surely, because it was basically taking money from the Mariners to give to other people to come and bugger up the pitch.
    • Agree Agree x 1

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