We will be seeing more big games like the trial game between the Rabbitohs and the Titans at BCU Stadium.
We will be seeing more big games like the trial game between the Rabbitohs and the Titans at BCU Stadium. Bruce Thomas

BCU Stadium could televise events

THE BCU International Stadium is fast becoming the Coffs Coast’s Field of Dreams.

Australia’s major sporting codes showed an attitude of ‘If you build it, we will come’ after yesterday’s announcement that an upgrade to the stadium’s lights worth nearly $2.2 million will bring them to a standard capable of televising a sporting event on digital TV.

South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson has quietly wished he could bring a premiership match worth two points to Coffs ever since the club began its relationship with the city just over two years ago.

The CEO believes that yesterday’s announcement has made the possibility of that wish coming true one giant step closer to becoming a reality.

“We take two home games every year, there’s one in Perth and one that we take to the Central Coast. The one that we play on the Central Coast we’d love to be able to take it here (Coffs),” Richardson said.

“We were never going to be able to with the lights there but now that they (new lights) are coming we want to have a look at how long it is going to take to install them and have a look at what we can do as far as the business plan goes to actually bring a fixture here.

“We bring Newcastle to the Central Coast, it might be that we bring Newcastle here.”

AFL media manager Patrick Keane said the lighting upgrade made Coffs Harbour an attractive and viable option when it comes to fixturing venues for their pre-season competitions, the NAB Cup and the NAB Challenge.

“We’ve played a couple of practise matches as part of our pre-season in Coffs Harbour but with the capacity for lights that obviously enables us to play at night which in the pre-season is a major benefit for us because we’re avoiding the potential for heat so this is a great result,” Keane said.

The AFL representative said that Coffs Harbour has been on the League’s radar for another pre-season match for quite some time. Keane added that there will be another match here soon, he’s just not exactly sure when.

“Usually that is a discussion we have each year with AFL NSW-ACT as the one or two matches that we play in the pre-season we move them around different parts of the State,” he said.

“We haven’t yet had a discussion about the pre-season for next year but if it’s not next year it would be the year after.”

It’s not just the winter sports that now have an eye on playing matches at the BCU International Stadium.

Cricket NSW has also expressed a desire to speak with the local cricket association in regards to having the SpeedBlitz Blues return for a game.

“We’re aware of the need to spread games out and if those lights are of the required standard and a submission comes in then Coffs Harbour will be looked at as a potential venue that’s for sure,” Cricket NSW’s communications manager David Townsend said.

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