Roar seek shift to new stadium
CASH-conscious Brisbane Roar want to move more A-League matches to Dolphin Stadium next season despite remaining contracted to Suncorp Stadium.
Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong, also the adviser to Indonesia-based club owner Nirwan Bakrie, said the "cost factor" of playing at 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium had become too much of a financial risk.
The Roar, who host Adelaide United at the Milton venue on Saturday night, are yet to break the 13,000 mark at Suncorp Stadium this season, with just 8582 watching their 2-0 home loss to Western United in December.
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"Suncorp Stadium has been an extremely heavy financial burden for us when we don't hit our numbers, and we can't afford to risk that anymore," Fong said.
Suncorp Stadium management allowed the Roar to shift three home matches to boutique Redcliffe venue Dolphin Stadium this season.
The first was played in November, when 9387 fans watched Brisbane beat Melbourne City 4-3.
Brisbane will also play at Dolphin Stadium on February 22 against Perth and on April 12 against Newcastle.
"The atmosphere at a smaller venue, that's the future, there's no denying it," Fong said.
"Dolphin's a fantastic stadium. We're giving it use in a time it hasn't been able to get that use before in that time before.
"If you talk to (Roar coach) Robbie Fowler, he wants to have all our games at Dolphin Stadium next season."
While that's an unlikely scenario, Roar officials will meet with Suncorp Stadium management, the State Government and Dolphin Stadium executives at the end of this season about again playing at least three matches, if not more, at the Redcliffe venue in the 2020-21 A-League campaign.
"We're still contracted there (Suncorp Stadium) but if it's not financially viable … it's just the size," Fong said.
Meanwhile, Fowler has been voted by fans as the A-League's coach of the month for January.
Fowler was a clear winner with 89 per cent of the vote ahead of Sydney FC's Steve Corica (7 per cent) and Perth Glory's Tony Popovic (4 per cent).
The Roar picked up 10 from a possible 15 points last month to move up to seventh on the ladder.