Raising the BARR – Week ending 19 October 2018

The world is trying to tell us lies

Folks, the “truth” is that we need to have our guard up for the many lies that the world is trying to convince us of.  For example, there is a current foolish theory floating around that the earth is flat!  And yes, people out there believe it to be true and promote the idea.

There is also a dangerous theory out there that vaccines are bad for us.  This belief, in real terms, is killing some of our children who unnecessarily catch things like whooping cough and seeing the return of some diseases like polio that had effectively been eliminated.

And then there is the silliness of those that defy the science on climate change and the even sillier media reporting of these people, as though their beliefs have any foundation in science.  On this point, in recent weeks we had 6,000 scientists across the planet produce a definitive paper proving the science of climate change, and our Federal Government, the great majority of whom have no qualifications in the sciences, said thanks, but no thanks.

And in NSW we have our own stadium issue that seems to be based on a series of, well, what might politely be called “errors of truth”.  To tackle this matter, I might rely on some math, which will prevent too much biased opinion, and provide you with the opportunity to come to your own conclusions.

It has become clear that the old Parramatta stadium had a business case put forward that justified its knock down and rebuild as a financially worthy project at a cost of $350 million. Based on recent news, we now know that the business case relied on 30 rugby league games being played there each season, with a rental fee of $200,000+ per game.  That would return $6 million per season of rent.

The local team, the Parramatta Eels were always “expected” to play their home games there, 10 per season, but at this stage they are saying they are only willing to pay approx. $100,000 rent per game.  Also, because that team only provides 10 home games per year, at least 2 other NRL teams will be required to make up the other 20 games.  To date, the Wests Tigers have agreed to play 4 games there – the price for rent of the stadiums for these 4 games is unknown, so let’s assume it was the full $200,000.  That leaves the business case 16 games short at $200,000 each, and if Parramatta Eels negotiate a rental deal of $100,000 per match, then the business case is also short a further 10 x $100,000 (or 5 games at $200,000 per game).

Nearby teams that “might” play at the new stadium include the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bulldogs.  But it seems that no one has told their local fans or stadiums that they are planning to depart their current home grounds and rent arrangements that they are contracted into.  Their fans will be furious and may refuse to physically follow their teams to a new ground.  But let’s assume that they agree to play all 10 of their respective home games at the new stadium, at a cost of $200,000 per game.  The math tells us that we are still 6 games short at $200,000 per game and we are 10 games short at $100,000 per game.  Perhaps Manly will agree to play their home games at Parramatta, or perhaps Cronulla will, or perhaps St George Illawarra.

Perhaps the “truths” that we had previously been told about the business case and the need for new stadiums is less than reliable.  And the scary thing is this is just the first new stadium.  There are 2 more on their way.  The problem above will be repeated on 2 more occasions but then you start to run out of Sydney based NRL teams, so you have to start wondering if Brisbane or Melbourne or North Queensland might start playing their home games at a new Sydney Stadium to make the figures add up.