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Marshall corrects record on Riverbank Arena costs, revenue

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Premier Steven Marshall has been forced to correct the parliamentary record after an agency chief mistakenly told a committee that the estimated revenue and running costs of the Government’s election centrepiece were more than double the actual amount.

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As InDaily reported on Monday, Adelaide Venue Management Corporation CEO Anthony Kirchner told a Budget and Finance parliamentary committee meeting that the Government’s planned $662 million new Riverbank Arena would earn over $100 million in revenue a year, while costing $80m a year to run.

But Marshall told parliament yesterday the figures were wrong.

“Mr Kirchner contacted my office yesterday afternoon to advise of errors in his answers to questions concerning the Arena’s projected revenue and operating costs,” Marshall told parliament.

“He advised the Committee that the forecast total revenue was in the order of $100 million and total operating costs in the order of $80 million.

“To correct the record, I am advised that the new Adelaide Riverbank Arena is forecast to generate total revenue in the order of $49.2 million per annum and incur total operating costs in the order of $34.5 million per annum once operational.”

Kirchner told InDaily this morning that he had “mistakenly answered” Labor MLC and Budget and Finance committee chair Kyam Maher’s question during Monday’s meeting.

He said the $100 million figure he provided to the committee reflected the Adelaide Venue Management Corporation’s estimated annual revenue across all its venues once the Riverbank Arena is complete.

“The figures I gave in the committee hearing were for Adelaide Venue Management as a whole upon opening of the new arena, as opposed to the new arena in isolation,” he said.

“The figures were correct but I had mistakenly answered the question in the wrong context.”

The arena was announced in March as the centrepiece of the Marshall Government’s re-election campaign.

The venue, to be located directly west of the Morphett Street bridge on the Torrens, would sit up to 15,000 people and act as an extension of the nearby convention centre, while also hosting concerts and court sports such as basketball.

Image supplied by State Government

Yesterday’s State Budget committed $78 million from 2022-23 to 2024-25 for planning and preparations to build the the centre.

Early site works, to begin in 2025-26, will include a tunnel under Morphett Street.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the total cost was less than the $700m originally forecast and would be further offset by the sale of the Entertainment Centre at Hindmarsh, which he estimated at “tens of millions of dollars”.

Kirchner refused to reveal the land’s estimated value at Monday’s committee meeting, citing commercial confidentiality.

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