A number of A-League games were thrown into disarray last month when the turf of Newcastle’s Energy Australia Stadium was torn up after a motocross event. Concerns were also raised that the November 27 clash between the LA Galaxy, featuring David Beckham, and the Newcastle Jets would not go ahead.

The nature of the control of Energy Australia Stadium is a complex one – it is owned by the government-appointed Hunter Venues Authority, managed by the Newcastle Knights who sub-lease it to the Newcastle Jets.

The NSW Government has insisted that the Knights will foot the remediation bill – estimated to be $500,000.

Short-Term gain versus Long-Term Pain

While the Knights possibly profited on the motocross event alone, the cost of ground remediation, the cancellation of one A-League match and the relocation of another would mean that the net result is a significant loss for most stakeholders.

The main lesson to be taken out of this is that venue and event managers must carefully balance the prospects of short-term gain with the possibility that things may end up costing more in the long run.

A thorough risk assessment should include any risks which may negatively impact upon the capacity of the organisation to do business.