Lights up for sale

LET THERE BE LIGHTS: The Waverley Park lights will be offered for sale to the Cats.

Thursday, March 20
Geelong Advertiser _ David Davutovic

THE Waverley Park light towers will be offered to Geelong Football Club for as little as $750,000.

Contractor Alex Fraser Recycling said the lights were destined for the scrapheap unless a buyer was found.

Company manager Brian Webb said the lights could go for $750,000 and that he was keen to open negotiations with the club.

``We've been waiting for someone like the Geelong Football Club to ring us and make us an offer,'' Mr Webb said.

``We reckon we could probably do a deal for less than a million.

``They're sitting up there as large as life, all four of them.

``They haven't been touched, knocked around or mishandled in any way, they're all in pristine condition.''

Despite the offer, Geelong chief executive Brian Cook said the cost was still prohibitive to the redevelopment.

``It's not just a matter of putting up the lights and switching them on,'' he said. ``There has to be an infrastructure developed, which would mean we would have to have a greater ability to carry more power around the ground, so it's not just a million dollars, it's installation and underground costs as well.

``On top of that there's the issue of ongoing maintenance.''

Cook said the AFL would not fixture night games at Skilled Stadium.

He said the parties involved in funding the project, Geelong council, the club, the State Government and the AFL, had already committed as much as they could.

``At this stage everyone is paying more than they can to ensure the first stage gets through,'' he said.

``The State Government's contribution has already gone up from $12 million to $13.5 million and they did that to ensure any cost escalation was met and they're saying they're not going to put any more dollars in.

``The City of Greater Geelong has said all they're putting in is $6 million.

``The AFL is putting in $2 million, which is $1 million more than any financial contribution they've made to any other ground around Australia apart from Waverley and the MCG.

``Then you have the footy club which has put in $4.5 million and we can't put any more in, that's our absolute limit.''

Although the majority of Waverley Park has been demolished with property developer Mirvac planning an estimated $1 billion redevelopment, the lights have remained and are waiting for a buyer.

Mr Webb said that there had been inquiries from potential buyers but no serious offers had been made.

``I reckon the idea of getting a football club to reuse them is sensational, to sort of keep them in the same context,'' he said.