The Gold Coast Suns hope to profit on the Big Bash League’s growth with a league franchise of its own.
Metricon Stadium, the Suns’ home venue will play host to three BBL games in the upcoming season, and also a T20 international this summer, with three BBL games also locked in for each of the next two seasons.
This expansion won’t be on the cards for three years at the very least but Suns chairman Tony Cochrane has stated the city now has a platform to prove itself among the worthy.
“That’s our long-term plan; what Cricket Australia have put to us is to prove the Big Bash games and one-dayers (T20s) over the next three years (are a success) and we’ll look at that,” Cochrane told the media.
“Gold Coast is a pretty dynamic population, heading towards 650,000 people and in another 10 years that will be close to 800,000.
“We’ve got a fantastic stadium everyone will see and I think we can really prove a case to have our own Big Bash team.”
Having a summer tenant would help relieve the heavy load on the embattled AFL franchise, which sees T20 cricket as something worth pursuing.
The Suns reportedly chipped in about $300,000 of the $1,000,000 spent on the drop-in pitch, and also practise spaces and new broadcast infrastructure at the stadium.
“It’s a simple equation. We get 11 or 12 uses out of the stadium now, but that increases that to 16 — eventually 20, 22 to spread the pie — then we’re really in business,” Cochrane said.
“We’ve got a tremendous administration and training facility and when you put all those parts together with Metricon, it makes a good fit.
“The more this stadium gets used by the community, the better off we are.”