Reds want more big games at Adelaide Oval

Adelaide United wants more of its matches played at Adelaide Oval. (Getty)

Adelaide United will initiate talks with major stakeholders of South Australian football designed to take more big games to the new-look Adelaide Oval.

The Reds are expecting a 30,000-plus crowd at the refurbished cricket ground for their Round 2 clash against in-form Melbourne Victory.


Adelaide's home ground Coopers Stadium has a capacity of 16,500 and the club drew much bigger crowds when it moved some major matches to Adelaide Oval.

The pre-season game against La Liga's Malaga in June drew 23,254 fans while respected statistician Andrew Howe says Adelaide's all-time biggest crowd of 25,039 was at its A-League clash with Sydney FC in December 2007.

Adelaide, which has contractual and moral obligations to the Entertainment Centre that owns Coopers Stadium, now wants to take more high-profile games across town.

"We are pretty confident of breaking Adelaide United's record home crowd for the Melbourne Victory match," chairman Greg Griffin said.

"You've got to be careful with moving games to Adelaide Oval which is a big ground (53,500) and would be unsuitable for some games.

"Basically Coopers Stadium is having a pretty expensive make-over which now looks like a world-class football stadium and we appreciate that.

"We are only permitted to use Adelaide Oval for one game a season but our deal with the Entertainment Centre is up for re-negotiation at the end of the season.

"We as Adelaide United will shortly sit down with the state government, the Entertainment Centre and the stadium management authority which manages Adelaide Oval.

"We will explore the possibility of negotiating a new lease which would allow us to play a few more games at the oval and keep Coopers Stadium happy at the same time.

"You've got to give a bit to get a bit and everyone has got to agree how we go forward."

Griffin said Adelaide would be expected to put more games into Coopers Stadium to fill the void left by the transfer of big games to the larger venue.

"We would need to put more matches into Coopers and this is where the FFA Cup and pre-season tours of foreign teams come in," Griffin said.

"We have to do the right thing by our sponsors who pay good money.

"Since the luck of the draw might never give us a home game in the FFA Cup we will endeavour to build on the success of Malaga's visit this year and bring more top class teams here.

"Our coaching staff have strong La Liga connections and we will continue to bring out Spanish or other European teams.

"We got 23,000 fans at Adelaide Oval at three weeks' notice so there is an appetite for such quality pre-season tours."

Griffin said he was full of praise for the renovations that have taken place at Adelaide Oval and dismissed suggestions that as a cricket ground the venue did not provide an adequate atmosphere for a football match.

"When the Malaga players came off they said they were knocked over by the atmosphere at the oval," he said.

"The oval is a different place now. I can guarantee that the atmosphere for the Victory match will be such that many would feel it was not possible at a cricket oval.

"It is a wonderful place to play football with a terrific surface."

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Source: SBS