Campbelltown matters with Greg Warren: We need more games at suburban venues

Campbelltown matters with Greg Warren: We need more games at suburban venues

It was heartening to read that Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys wants to see investment in suburban grounds - like Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

For years I have continually championed the need for our premier local sporting venue to be utilised far more.

The merger between the Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers understandably saw a decline in the number of games played at the stadium.

The merger was a partnership and games had to be shared equally among fans in Campbelltown and Leichhardt.

Fair's fair.

However, I never understood the decision to play more and more games at ANZ Stadium.

It is nowhere near Campbelltown and is a nightmare to get to via public transport.

I equally never understood why the Berejiklian Government was hell-bent on pouring more money into ANZ Stadium - effectively driving a large nail into the coffin of suburban venues like Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Playing a token three of four regular-season NRL games at the Campbelltown venue is nowhere near enough games to quench the thirst of local rugby league fans.

While now - given the COVID 19 crisis - is not the time to be sinking money into new sporting venues, there is certainly no harm in having the discussion.

There are certainly more areas - like health and education - that warrant far more investment at this time.

But I welcome any conversation about the prospect of bringing more NRL games to our local stadium.

We are a rapidly expanding region - with an incredible pool of talent.

Ryan Hoffman, James Tedesco, Trent Barrett, Beau Scott and Jason Taylor- these are just a few of household rugby league names that either lived, played rugby league or were school in our region.

It would be great to see the next generation of players take to our stadium on more than a few occasions each year.