Jubilee Oval 'under utilised'

Kogarah Council has stated that Jubilee Oval is currently `under utilized' as the Dragons are only planning to play 4 home games at the venue in 2004. The Council statement comes in the wake of 3 local residents objecting to the arrival of Sydney Olympic at Kogarah for the 2003/2004 season.

Whilst Sydney Olympic are keen to play at Kogarah following their unsuccessful experiment in the Sutherland Shire, it is in Kogarah's best interests to host soccer in order to be deemed a multi-purpose venue going forward. The Fraser Park Dragons have successfully hosted four soccer matches at Kogarah this year, but the arrival of an NSL side has a handful of residents concerned. Two of the objectors are uneasy about the possible increase in traffic, the extra burden on parking and what they would regard as a loss of pleasantness from having soccer games at Kogarah. A third objector believes that soccer attracts undesirable patrons to the area and that it may disturb the objectors' placid lifestyle.

Despite these concerns from the trio of locals, Kogarah Council is expected to grant final consent for the use of Jubilee Oval for NSL soccer games in 2003/2004. Sydney Olympic is only expected to host crowds of between 3,000 and 5,000 for the majority of their 13 home games. Free shuttle buses will be in operation and Park Street will be closed when a crowd of 5,000 or more is expected. At this stage, Kogarah Council is not permitting any NSL night games but the fixtures from December to February will commence at 5:00pm. The extra utilization of Jubilee Oval is expected to have a favourable impact on the local area from an economic and social viewpoint.

As Kogarah Council has stated, Jubilee Oval is currently under utilized. It's unfortunate that St.George-Illawarra has only allocated 4 home games to the venue in 2004. This is a direct consequence of the Dragons' participation in the ANZAC game at Aussie Home Loans Stadium and the Club's agreement with the Wollongong Sportsground Trust to play a minimum of 7 home games per year at WIN Stadium from 2002 to 2005. From an equity viewpoint, Kogarah's Jubilee Oval should be granted a minimum of 7 home games per year for the seasons 2006 to 2009. The extra utilization of Kogarah will assist in future attempts to obtain Government and community funding.

"Kogarah's still the centre of the world for me" - Clive James (speaking from London).

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