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Melbourne Gets Nod For Super Rugby

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Melbourne Gets Nod For Super Rugby

Wellington, Nov 12 NZPA - Melbourne will be Super rugby's 15th team in 2011.

Sanzar, who control the southern hemisphere competition had asked a panel that included former All Blacks captain David Kirk and retired New Zealand High Court judge Barry Paterson QC to decide on the location of the 15th team -- Melbourne or the Southern Kings from South Africa.

The panel said in its decision today Melbourne provided considerably greater commercial benefit to Sanzar than the Southern Kings Application.

Revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to Australasian broadcasters would be reduced by $US15 million ($NZ20.51 million) to $US20 million over the course of a five-year agreement should the 15th team be from South Africa.

There would be little or no commensurate rise in the value of South African broadcasting revenue.

Travelling to play matches on a home and away basis in the Australian conference also weighed heavily against the Southern Kings.

The local derby aspect of matches in Australia, an important issue for generating attendances and broadcasting value, would also have been diluted and it would not have been possible to schedule at least two matches in each country each weekend.

Having the team resident in South Africa also introduced annual additional costs to Sanzar of around $NZ720,000, the panel said.

The panel's decision was final.

"This is a vote for commonsense," Australian Rugby Union (ARU) managing director John O'Neill said in a statement.

"Melbourne has an extraordinary capacity for sport and we can now deliver them a Super rugby side they can embrace and support in an established competition of genuine international standing."

The team will play at the purpose-built rectangular stadium opposite the Melbourne Park tennis centre and within sight of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.


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