IMAGINE having a multi-million dollar facility that brings in more than $30 million to the local economy.
After witnessing AFL North Coast grand final day from the shiny, new surrounds of C.Ex Coffs International Stadium on Saturday, I left feeling a little envious.
As a town, we could learn a thing or two from Coffs Harbour - starting with the venue they see as their jewel in the crown and one that was upgraded and officially reopened at the weekend.
How good would it be to have something like that here?
Media boxes that don't require opening a window for air to get in, undercover grandstand seating, lighting that measures more than 100 lux and arguably the best playing surface in the country.
This is a stadium that is state-of-the-art, brings in regular events to the community - and that's not just sport-related either.
There are a number of questions that have to be asked before we can progress any further.
The core difference between C. Ex and Regional Stadium is that Coffs Harbour has a hierarchy of use.
That means if something pops up on the radar - think Newcastle Jets, Elton John, women's international or men's domestic cricket fixtures - local clubs are shifted to outside fields.
In comparison, Port Macquarie is believed to have a seasonal allocation in play, meaning rugby league clubs Port Macquarie Sharks and Port City Breakers have their home matches and dates locked away.
This means if any National Rugby League, Hyundai A-League or Super Rugby club contemplated moving a match to Port Macquarie for whatever reason, they could only do it if that specific weekend was free.
Another difference between C. Ex and Regional Stadium is the Port Macquarie venue costs the community hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in maintenance.
The answer to it all could be the new sporting facility located at Thrumster where earthworks started last week.
But that won't be ready for a couple of years.
Maybe the time has come for everyone in Port Macquarie to chip in for the greater good.
That means, regardless of sporting club/code or community allegiance, be more flexible, work together and rally all levels of government for funding to secure our sporting future.
Otherwise we run the risk of always living in Coffs Harbour's shadow and always having to drive an hour and a half for major events we could apply for here.
What else is happening in sport?
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