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Push for cricket at Metricon Stadium

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METRICON Stadium could host a first-class game of cricket as early as next summer.

Member for Southport Rob Molhoek, who is driving an initiative to bring top-level cricket to the Gold Coast, said plans were being investigated to see the city host a game as early as December.

Last week, Mr Molhoek met with Cricket Australia's Mike McKenna, Queensland Cricket CEO Richard Powell, Andrew Bulcher from Brisbane Heat and Andrew Travis and David Bennett from the Gold Coast Suns and Metricon Stadium.

He said the timing was "perfect", with Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia looking at opportunities to expand its market share and increase its audience size.

"They are looking at expanding their market in the lead-up to the World Cup in 2014," Mr Molhoek said.

"We have started the dialogue on how this could include the Gold Coast.

"We could run some trial games to test the water and show there is a market here for it.

"The opportunity is here over that summer period when the Gold Coast population doubles."

Mr Molhoek said it would be possible for the city to host games, including some from the Rioby Cup and the Big Bash, as well as some trial games.

Queensland Cricket CEO Richard Powell confirmed there had been "positive" discussions between all parties.

"What we were concerned about was not cannibalising our existing audience by drawing away from the people who go to the cricket in Brisbane, but looking at bringing in a new audience," said Mr Powell.

"The Suns' experience shows to us there would be an opportunity to build on a new crowd."

The next step to see whether it would be possible to secure some games at Metricon would be to establish a business case, look at trial games and explore drop-in pitch options.

The Bulletin understands it could cost between $80,000 to $100,000 to "drop in" a pitch.

Gold Coast Suns boss Travis Auld said he would open the stadium gates to cricket.

"From our perspective, we are trying to add more content to the stadium. The only permanent content we have is 11 games, so from August to March there is a gap," Mr Auld said.

"Cricket is an obvious choice. The stadium has been designed to host both domestic and international cricket games.

"A Twenty20 game we believe would do really well in the Gold Coast.

"We would be delighted to host a game of cricket."

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