http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/stor ... 01,00.html
SANFL and AFL leaders will meet in Melbourne today in an extraordinary session which could bring AFL games to the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.
And there is the expectation SA Cricket Association officials will be drawn into the talks.
SANFL president Rod Payze confirmed he and league chief executive Leigh Whicker have been called to meet AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and league chief executive Andrew Demetriou today.
Mr Payze was not aware of any SACA involvement in today's meetings. "This is not a meeting called by the SANFL; we are going there at the invitation of the AFL," he said.
"It is to discuss a number of football things."
SACA officials are already in Melbourne for end-of-season meetings with Cricket Australia but would not confirm any session with the AFL.
The Advertiser understands Mr Fitzpatrick and Mr Demetriou ultimately want the SANFL and SACA in face-to-face meetings to resolve Adelaide's long-running stadium debate. The potential consequences of the session are:
AFL games at Adelaide Oval after capacity at the city ground is increased to 35,000 and facilities improved by the $90 million redevelopment due for completion by the end of 2010.
PORT ADELAIDE, which is losing money playing at the 51,515-seat AAMI Stadium while averaging crowds of 30,000, moving home games to Adelaide Oval.
A JOINT bid by the SANFL and SACA in seeking Federal Government money to redevelop both AAMI Stadium and Adelaide Oval.
AN end to the Opposition's plans for a new city sports stadium on Adelaide's western edge with neither cricket nor football endorsing the project.
The SACA last night confirmed it had meetings yesterday in Adelaide with SANFL officials. The cricket association said these were to discuss how SANFL football could be played at Adelaide Oval during the redevelopment of the ground's western flank.
The AFL has declined to make any public comment on a meeting which could end 40 years of tense relations between the SANFL and SACA. The SANFL in 1969 opted out of sharing Adelaide Oval, which is controlled by the SACA, to build its first football-owned headquarters at West Lakes.
The SANFL last played its grand final at Adelaide Oval in 1973 and then took football's best games to AAMI Stadium, originally called Football Park, in 1974. The league has refused to sanction any AFL games at Adelaide Oval, insisting all Crows and Power home matches be played at West Lakes. The SANFL, which owns the AFL licences of the Crows and Power, says its licence agreement with the AFL demands there be 22 AFL premiership matches – 11 from Adelaide and 11 from Port – played at AAMI Stadium each season.
The SANFL in 2002 gained assurances from the AFL that any AFL games transferred by non-SA clubs to Adelaide would be played at AAMI Stadium and not Adelaide Oval.