Confirmation by Georges River Council that the value of the Jubilee Stadium naming rights agreement is $81,000 per annum has drawn criticism from two councillors and been defended by the sponsor.
Councillors Con Hindi and Vince Badalati said the council should have held out for more.
But Netstrata, the company that was successful in securing the naming rights sponsorship last month, has defended the figure saying their tender was based on an independent assessment of the value of the stadium sponsorship as well as previously published figures of the council’s expectations.
Cr Hindi earlier this week criticised the council for not releasing the worth of the value of the naming rights sponsorship despite the figure of $81,000 being published on Monday by the Sydney Morning Herald.
A council spokesperson confirmed that the per annum value of the Netstrata Jubilee Stadium Naming Rights sponsorship Agreement is $81,000.
After confirming this figure today, a council spokesperson said information pertaining to the Agreement will be placed onto Council’s register within 45 days of the execution of the Agreement as required under legislation (by 2 March 2019).
“I am personally very disappointed with the offer when compared to Sharks Park $500,000 band Lottoland (Brookvale Oval) $1 million,” Cr Hindi said.
“I am ashamed for voting for such a low value. If that was the best offer at the time, then in hindsight we should have called it ‘Georges River Council Jubilee Stadium’ for 12 months to promote the new-amalgamated Council and to allow us to throw a wider net and attract a much better commercial deal that would be fit and appropriate for such an iconic and historic ground.
“I say that with no disrespect to Netstrata who are a very reputable company. This is ratepayers money that we are wasting and with no benefits to the club of St George.
“Any deal should have Included a massive financial boost to the club. Hopefully In future I can learn from this mistake.”
Cr Hindi said that the council’s finance committee report dated 12 March 2018 stated that: ‘The value of the sponsorship is also market driven so it is difficult to stipulate what would be an expectation, however, depending on the quantum of secured content on approaching the market, this could range between around $75,000 and $175,000 with corporate hospitality as well as signage opportunity included in the sponsorship package.’
“I can’t believe we have accepted the lower range of of our estimation,” Cr Hindi said.
Councillor Vince Badalati said the council should have taken the sponsorship offer off the market and looked for a better offer.
“I was the only one who voted against it,” Cr Badalati said.
“If somebody makes an offer on your house which is about half of what you think it deserves, you don’t accept. You take it off the market and wait until you can get what it is really worth.
“I don’t think the tender is anywhere near what the staff said it that it was worth.
“That’s why I voted against it.
“It is just short-changing the ratepayers.”
Netstrata managing director, Stephen Brell said he had received independent advice on the value of the stadium sponsorship before entering into the tendering process.
“Prior to entering into the tendering process I engaged the services of a company that specialises in valuing stadium sponsorship,” Mr Brell said.
“I also relied on an article published in The Leader on 14 March, 2018 which was titled ‘Jubilee Oval to be renamed a stadium as council seeks sponsorship’.
“This put the sponsorship range from $75,000 to $175,000 depending on the amount of secured content.
“I based my tender on the valuation I obtained and that range published in the article.
“Something that has been overlooked is that the council did not secure a sponsor for the stadium in 2018.
“What has been sensationalised in this story is that the amounts paid for Southern Cross Stadium ($500,000) and Lottoland ($1,000,000), however these included jersey sponsorships of both the Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles respectively so it is hardly a fair comparison,” Mr Brell said.
“Further consideration should also be given to the fact that only five NRL games are played at Jubilee each season compared to 12 games at both Southern Cross Stadium and Lottoland.
“These are important economic considerations when assessing the relative value of a stadium sponsorship.
“Like council, we were disappointed that the confidentiality of the tendering process was breached and we hope that those responsible are held accountable.”
Georges River Council held at extraordinary meeting last Monday to examine the council’s Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the Jubilee Stadium naming rights.