Friday, January 24, 2014

NRL boss Dave Smith tours Macarthur

Western Suburbs Magpies former Chairman Jim Marsden has taken NRL CEO Dave Smith to Campbelltown and Oran Park Town to meet with local, state and federal politicians and businessmen, as well as Wests Tigers chief executive Grant Mayer.

The visit was to highlight the NRL's need to focus more of its efforts on Sydneys South West Corridor as an untapped resource of fans, officials and players.

Smith acknowledged the Macarthur region as the game's "natural heartland" but refused to "interfere" with the Wests Tigers' commitments to the region, which receives just four NRL season games at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

"The reason I'm here is not to tell the Wests Tigers where to play their games," he said.

"I think it (Campbelltown) is one of the most significant growth areas of Sydney.

"I met with Grant a couple of times last week and they're considering all of their options."

The visit comes after a period of discontent between the Wests Tigers, local fans and some local politicians over the club's commitment to the region.

"After this meeting the NRL will be aware of the population explosion," he said.

"If they ignore it they do so at their own peril."

Marsden - a key figure in the merger between Western Suburbs and Balmain in 1999 - lamented the lack of games NRL games at Campbelltown in recent years.

"It'd be great to have a team focused in the area more so than the Wests Tigers are currently," he said.

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1 comment:

1EyedMagpie said...

A bit late now to be doing this Marsden! Why didn't you do this before we had to join the orange people? And why wasn't the current Chairman showing the NRL around the district? I urge all football club members to remove the current board before we lose the club all together!