Former Beatle has the Brisbane Roar on the run
FOOTBALL: Brisbane Roar will host an A-League match on the Gold Coast in December due to Suncorp Stadium being booked for a Paul McCartney concert.
The 2017-18 A-League schedule was released yesterday, with the Roar affected by factors including other sporting and music events at Suncorp Stadium, the Commonwealth Games and railway upgrades.
The Roar will play Wellington Phoenix at Robina venue Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday, December 9, the same night McCartney performs at Suncorp Stadium.
"Suncorp Stadium has by far the most constrained availability of any venue right across the A-League draw," A-League boss Greg O'Rourke said.
"In addition to the normal stuff like concerts and grass works, you've got the Bledisloe Cup being played there, you've got Global 10s rugby being played there, you've got three weekends of major rail closures and then right to the end of the season the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"While that's being held on the Gold Coast, the city has issued a venue blackout for that period so that the provided infrastructures, emergency services ... are not trying to manage different events.
"(Suncorp Stadium) is a very difficult venue and you don't have any alternates unfortunately."
The squeeze on available dates at Suncorp Stadium also means the Roar will play there twice within 72 hours in January.
Brisbane host Western Sydney at the Milton venue on Friday, January 5, before hosting Sydney FC at the same ground on Monday, January 8.
"We had to find some space for home games, but ... we had to make sure those games were big games," O'Rourke said.
The Roar will open the season on Friday, October 6 when they visit AAMI Park to take on Melbourne City.
The following night Melbourne Victory host Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium in a rematch of last season's grand final.
The draw also includes the "Summer of Football" with 25 matches being played in 25 days from December 21 to January 14.
Split rounds have been scheduled in February and March to assist the A-League's AFC Champions League representatives.
"Developing this draw has been a challenging process to accommodate the preferences of the clubs, venue availability and also the AFC Champions League 2018," O'Rourke said.