I always thought it was a bit of a stretch for the Coalition to commit to building (in one of their most marginal seats) a swish new 30,000-seat stadium for 1 NRL club (Penrith) to play up to 12 regular season games from it. Talk about trying to save the furniture. Now that Penrith isn't flying high at the top of the ladder, how often will their existing stadium sell out?
Aside from that example, the NRL did very well from the Coalition stadia strategy - $828 million on a new and improved Allianz Stadium and $300 million on the knockdown and rebuild of Commbank Stadium.
The business case for Allianz showed the costs marginally outweighed the assumed benefits. One of the key benefits that would probably help to make it a success from a business case perspective would be to move the Rabbitohs back to Moore Park.
There may be some pressure from local councils on the new Labor Government to fund urgent repair works at Leichhardt Oval and Jubilee Oval, but Labor would probably be better served in working with the NRL to get Wests Tigers to play permanently from two home grounds (Campbelltown and Commbank or maybe Allianz, for fans based in the Inner West) and the same for the Dragons (Wollongong and Allianz) as soon as next season. Such a move would further enhance the benefits of both investments, and downsize the need for investment in two of the least used suburban grounds.
This term of government will be dictated to by higher interest rates, inflation risks and a budget in deficit. The cheap money and asset recycling of years gone by (that enabled big spends on stadiums with costs that outweighed benefits) is a thing of the past.
A lot of thought will need to be put into the next big stadium spend. When that happens, we may find that it will be to position Sydney for a major role in another global sporting event (e.g. the FIFA World Cup). And this may end up meaning that Accor Stadium does eventually get a big facelift...albeit in the 2030s.