Brookvale to lose games after blackout?

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Journey Man
Manly chief executive Grant Mayer has gone cap in hand to NSW Premier Morris Iemma in a desperate bid to keep NRL matches on the northern peninsula.

Mayer said a minimum $5 million in funding was urgently required for much-needed upgrades to Brookvale Oval, with Saturday night's embarrassing blackout during the match against Canberra the last straw.

His plea came on the same day Premier Iemma made a pledge to grant $30 million for a new grandstand at Newcastle's EnergyAustralia Stadium as he continued on his campaign trail ahead of Saturday's state election.

Premier Iemma's grant was conditional on it being matched by the federal government - EnergyAustralia Stadium set to get its second upgrade in the last few years after having a $22 million government-funded grandstand completed last season.

"It's great to hear sporting teams and in particular rugby league teams getting extra funding," Mayer said.

"Good luck to Newcastle if that's true. I've also heard that Leichhardt Oval has picked up some money, and some other venues.

"All we're saying is it's our turn.

"Five million dollars will give us the seating we need and do the capital improvement we need to bring it back to where it should be."

Asked whether a lack of support from either federal or state level could result in Brookvale losing home games, Mayer said: "That's the last thing you want to contemplate".

"We're going to exhaust every avenue to ensure that we get some form of funding from either the federal government or state government to bring Brookie back to where it needs to be.

"We're ready, and Saturday night - even though it was exceptionally embarrassing on the night - has given us a little bit of leverage to speak to the right people and try and get the money we really do deserve.

"I've written to Morris Iemma yesterday in light of what happened regarding the lights and simply said our approach to the stat government is not about getting a brand new facility.

"It's about upgrading what we've got to make it suitable for the 15,000 people we have here."

Newcastle - a former Labor heartland - is expected to be hotly-contested between former Labor party member and now Independent Bryce Gaudry, Independent Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate and Labor candidate Jodi McKay.

Manly on the other hand is expected to be battled out between Independent sitting member David Barr and Liberal candidate Mike Baird, meaning Labor-backed funding could be hard to come by for the Sea Eagles.

"There's a top-four side that the club's worked very hard to put together and now all of a sudden that we're winning football games regularly we're getting 15,000 people there," Mayer said.

"Quite simply, 15,000 people at a venue like that makes it very uncomfortable for most people and the lights going out the other night just made it more uncomfortable."

While things may be looking grim for the Sea Eagles, the league is basking in the glory of the most well-attended round in NRL history and spectacular television ratings for its return to Monday night football.

Last night's South Sydney v Sydney Roosters clash attracted an average audience of 316,000, one of highest ratings figures for a rugby league game on pay television.

The round as a whole attracted 185,051, beating the 171,526 that attended the previous best in round 22, 1995.

The average of 23,131 per game also outstripped the previous best per game of 23,102 set in last year's opening round


Don't hold your breath.

When was the last time a government did anything for the northern beaches? When they built the spit bridge?


No one will help us, we're Manly.

I'm sure I can find $20 for a tarp to go over whatever got wet in the electrics on Saturday.
All fixed, everything is perfect again.

At least if it's all stands at Newy people will stop bringing their picnic balnkets to the games. Those whove been on the hill up there at capacity know all about that I'm sure. Freakin' torture.

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