Adelaide United will play all of its 2016-17 home fixtures at Coopers Stadium despite the momentum built around last season’s Grand Final success at Adelaide Oval.
The 2016-17 A-League fixtures will be officially released publicly on Thursday, with the Reds ceasing the experiment to move a marquee game to the 53,583-capacity stadium.
Adelaide’s Round One fixture against rivals Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Oval last season only garnered an attendance of 19,079.
The season prior the same fixture attracted a crowd of 33,126, although the novelty factor of the new stadium arguably played a part, with an elimination final six months later only drawing 20,155.
The 2015-16 Grand Final drew a massive 50,119 attendance but Adelaide have decided to stick with Coopers for regular season matches, despite the potential for a marquee clash with Victory who they are expected to host early in the season.
“It’s no secret that Melbourne Victory is the marquee game here in Adelaide,” United general manager of football operations Ante Kovacevic told FourFourTwo.
“Last year we had it in Round One and it wasn’t as good a crowd as we’d hoped. It’s a tough one (in terms of timing), it’s hard to balance.”
Adelaide CEO Grant Mayer added: “There was a bit of difficulty around venue availability around the festive season, but we’re looking forward to having all 14 of our home matches at Coopers. “
Reds supporters have long enjoyed the intimacy of the boutique Coopers Stadium which holds a 16,500 capacity, the lowest in the A-League.
Kovacevic said the decision to host all regular season 2016-17 games at Coopers didn’t mean they had abandoned the idea of playing fixtures at Adelaide Oval in the future.
“The atmosphere the Grand Final created, you’d love to have 30,000-plus there for a regular season game,” Kovacevic said.
“We do want that to work. We want to spread the gospel.”
Meanwhile, Kovacevic also revealed United were close to announcing a replacement for departed assistant coach Mike Valkanis.comments