Council disappointed at unfair representation of support for FFA cup round of 32

Council would like to clarify its position in relation to the FFA Cup Round of 32 match to be held at Maitland No. 1 Sportsground on Wednesday 31 July.

Councillors considered a late report at the Council meeting on Tuesday night, 9 July, where they unanimously supported a motion to underwrite any loss that Maitland FC may incur in hosting the round of 32 fixture up to the amount of $11,000 including GST.

 Council has been working with representatives of Maitland FC since the inception of this fixture to ensure that the ground is available and prepared, including the relocation of other user groups to accommodate the event and infrastructure setup, and to ensure the pitch is in top condition. Additionally, Council staff have worked to set up the ticketing for the event and continue to provide event planning advice and support to the club in the lead up to the match.

The current floodlighting level at Maitland No. 1 Sportsground does not meet some broadcaster’s requirements for night games. Contrary to what has been reported, this match is not being broadcast live on Foxtel. However, as with pre-season trial matches that have been held at the ground, additional lighting standards will be required for this match and will be hired in as a cost against the game, as has been done previously. Floodlighting capacity at the ground is to be permanently increased in the third stage of the Maitland Regional Sports Hub development that is currently underway.

Council needs to balance the requests that it receives from community groups seeking support for a range of events and activities and believes that the offer to underwrite this event up to $11,000 is appropriate given internal costs associated with the game that are being met by council, and given that subject to attendance, the potential exists for the game to generate a profit that would go wholly to the Maitland FC.

Maitland attracts a wide range of high profile state and national events in sport as well as other areas of special interest where volunteer groups work together to showcase the city and region. Council offers in kind assistance and support to these groups, who do not receive financial assistance, but understand that working together to promote the city is a benefit for the people of the city. Some recent examples of this are the BMX NSW BMXtreme Carnival held over the June long weekend, the Motor cross MX Nationals happening this weekend and Toranafest which is returning to Maitland in September.

Council staff will continue to work in partnership with Maitland FC to ensure the success of the game, and to ensure that the facilities and amenity offered at our premier sporting ground are showcased in the best way possible.

David Evans
General Manager