THE SPENCER Gulf League has asked the Port Augusta City Council to increase entrance fees for Sunday football matches at Central Oval from $4.50 to $7.
All revenue raised from the $2.50 difference will go to the league with the existing oval funding model deemed ‘unsustainable’.
The increase would be effective for the three remaining Sunday fixtures on June 25, July 2 and July 23.
An external funding review of Central Oval is set to start. Mayor Sam Johnson said it would cover the structure of user-payments, costs and leases, providing recommendations for future business models at the sporting precinct.
“As we do when making any decisions that impact on Port Augusta ratepayers, we need to ensure there is a fair outcome for community users of the facility and that all clubs are financially sustainable,” he said.
Council has called on the community to provide its views regarding the proposed fee increase before making a decision.
Council provides the league with $20,000 for all games played at the oval during the season, but league president Les Promnitz said the payment covers less than half of the cost to run football in Port Augusta.
“Running football in Port Augusta is in the vicinity of just over $50,000 from all of our matches at Central Oval,” he said.
“That $2.50 difference is not a great deal of money, but every little bit counts.”
The Central Oval Complex officially opened in 2015, with the $4.50 fee aimed to suit all users of the facilities.
Mr Promnitz said the increase would only apply on Sundays when football is the only sport at the complex.
“The entry fee in Port Pirie, and even in Port Augusta, is and always has been $7, until the Port Augusta Council took over. With netball there as well, they made it a price of $4.50,” he said.
“It is a bit hard to charge netballers the same as football because they were paying considerably less at their other complex, but on the other hand, we were needing the charge of $7 to survive with our ongoing costs.”
Mr Promnitz said that if a solution for Central Oval cannot be reached, football in Port Augusta may be moved to another venue beyond the 2017 season.
The Council will make a decision in the coming months following the funding review and community consultation. To comment on the potential increase in entrance fees at Central Oval, visit the Port Augusta City Council website.
Submissions can also be posted or lodged to the Civic Centre, addressed to Director of Community Services Anne O’Reilly, PO Box 1704, Port Augusta 5700.
All submissions must be received by 4pm on Wednesday, June 14.