Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Norwood Oval - old world charm

Norwood Oval - or rather, Coopers Stadium as we are told we must call it - is the wonderful setting for the home games of Adelaide Bite, our team in the Australian Baseball League (now in its second season in its revamped format).

And it really is a splendid place to watch sport.  Norwood Oval (as we are going to continue to call it) can certainly be called old school, and it is none the worse for this.  In fact, this is the essence of its charm.

Sit where you like, even - heaven forbid - stand to watch the game if it so suits you.  Walk around the ground in order to gain a different perspective.   Move around freely without a ubiquitous burly security guard scrutinising your every move.  If you have children, there is actually room for them to run about.  It reminds us of what going to watch the football was like in the dim distant past of our youth.

What this visit has achieved, however, is to make us think more keenly on the tragic fate that is about to befall the Adelaide Oval.  Is it too late to prevent the sacking of our once beautiful ground, once the envy of the world's cricket-going public?  And if not, where will it end?  We very rarely find occasion to agree with Mr Peter Goers but, sadly, we think a recent prediction of his is correct, namely that the internationally renowned Adelaide Oval scoreboard and the Moreton Bay fig trees at the Cathedral end of the ground will be gone in five years' time.  And what will we be left with?

A sports ground that could be anywhere.  That looks like every other concrete bowl. We once had an icon and we seem determined to replace it with a stereotype.

We shall be returning, therefore, to Norwood Oval as often as we can to savour a unique, authentic sporting experience, rather than one manufactured to suit those from out of town who visit us once every year or so and moan because Football Park is not on the doorstep of their hotel.  Frankly, we would leave Adelaide Oval just as it is to encourage them to stay away!