With perfect schools, hospitals and transport across NSW, why not spend on Sydney stadiums?

Gladys Berejiklian has made the poobahs and potentates of Sydney's sports world very happy.

In handing them $2.3 billion of our money, the Premier will allow the great and the good of Sydney's hospitality lounges to drape themselves in the glory of sport, and the glory of their role in it, for many years to come.

Thankfully, NSW also has flawless transport, a surplus of schools, extravagantly equipped hospitals, more parkland than it needs, a housing market that caters to all of us, and a vocational training system groaning with resources.

Two of Sydney's major sports stadiums will be demolished and rebuilt at a cost of $2 billion.

But why? The average attendance at Allianz Stadium over the past 15 games – a period that includes bumper fixtures such as NRL finals, the FFA Cup final, and a US college football game – is about 16,200.

And yet, for some reason, Berejiklian's government believes there is a need to demolish this 45,000 seat stadium, so rarely used to capacity, and replace it with another of the same size.

Stadium bill to soar above $2b following cabinet approval

The Cabinet decision on Thursday to super-size Mike Baird's $1.6 billion stadium spending package represents a remarkable victory for the Sports Minister, Stuart Ayres, and his comrades on the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust – Alan Jones, Tony Shepherd, John Hartigan, Maurice Newman, Barry O'Farrell et al.

In a concession to geography, Baird decided last year to prioritise stadium spending at Olympic Park over that at Moore Park. Unlike Allianz Stadium at Moore Park, ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park is not on the city's eastern fringe.

Baird's decision was a gut-punch to Ayres and the SCG Trust, who insisted that a new rectangular stadium at Moore Park was needed.

Partly, that is because of what Baird did not do. Baird had previously said he would change the underlying governance structure of Sydney's stadiums.

This would have meant merging the SCG Trust with the other organisations running Sydney's major sporting venues. Doing so would have removed the competition between Sydney's stadium bodies.

The Trust, however, avoided a merger.

And, thanks to Berejiklian and Co, it will soon receive hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on designing and building a glitzy new stadium.

In a few years, Sydney will have some magnificent venues from which to watch sport.

Thankfully, NSW also has flawless transport, a surplus of schools, extravagantly equipped hospitals, more parkland than it needs, a housing market that caters to all of us, and a vocational training system groaning with resources.

If it didn't, people might start questioning Berejiklian's priorities…

This article originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald

This story OPINION: Why is Gladys spending $2.3 billion to rebuild Sydney stadiums? first appeared on The Area News.