“The Sharks are playing more than double the amount of games that the Dragons are [at Jubilee],” he said. “We have a good opportunity to make it our home. As long as they can run on that pitch and feel like it’s no different to Shark Park because we’ve kind of painted it black, white and blue, so to speak, then they’ll be out there playing to win.”
One part of the master plan, which the board is reviewing, is to transport fans between Kareela and Kogarah in shuttle buses to ensure players are running out to a full stadium.
“Our job is to make sure that when they take that pitch that we’ve got the right amount of support for them,” Mezzatesta said. “When you walk in there, it’s got to be black, white and blue. It’s got to be Sharks.”
The Woolooware Bay project was originally spearheaded by chief executive Richard Munro, who on January 7 suddenly departed the club. Fans are now questioning whether the move would go ahead in his absence.
The purchase of the golf club aims to provide the Sharks with an extra $1 million in revenue annually outside of rugby league, with Cronulla taking a similar path to the Sydney Roosters and the Penrith Panthers in trying to earn revenue from property investments.
Once the club has returned to its traditional home in Woolooware, the Sharks will continue to own both clubs in the Shire to maintain the added revenue stream.
“The amalgamation with Kareela secures another revenue-generating asset to further strengthen our financial position,” Mezzatesta said.