News Metricon Stadium and precinct

Matchu

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Saw a similar thread about Kardinia Park in the Geelong sub-forum and thought it would be a good idea to keep an eye on all things stadium related in the one thread. As most of you would already know, Metricon Stadium underwent a major redevelopment between 2009-2011 and the only remaining elements from the previous stadium are the light towers. I'll quickly run through the stage 1 redevelopment as there was no thread to document it at the time.

Let's go right back to the start. Below is a picture of Carrara Oval (as it was known at the time) in 1979 prior to any stadium elements.



Then along came Christopher Skase and the Brisbane Bears in 1987. He installed makeshift stands all around the oval to transform the ground into Carrara Stadium. Pictured below is the ground prior to the light towers going up.



The lights were finished in 1989 but Skase's company went broke in 1990 and the Bears' future was up in the air. They managed to last two more seasons at Carrara before a permanent move to the Gabba. The stadium would later host occasional Rugby League matches before the Gold Coast Chargers set up base at Carrara in 1996. By that point, all the makeshift stands at the ground had been replaced with grandstands. The most notable grandstand being on the south-eastern side of the ground. Below is a picture of the Chargers' mascot posing at Carrara Stadium in 1998. 1998 would be the last season of the Chargers' existence.



Fast forward to 2004 and there is talk of a new NRL team setting up base at Carrara. Below is a picture of Carrara Stadium prior to the Titans taking up tenancy.



Two years later and it has been announced that the Titans will be joining the NRL and will be using Carrara Stadium as their home ground. A surprisingly big crowd for a Brisbane-Essendon NAB Cup clash has put expansion back on the agenda for the AFL.



The year is now 2007 and both the NRL (Gold Coast Titans) and the AFL (North Melbourne) are regularly using the stadium for home games. Below is a picture of North Melbourne players training at the stadium.



2009 sees the newly created Gold Coast Football Club hosting TAC Cup matches at Carrara Stadium while the Titans have moved into their new stadium in Robina. The AFL has successfully secured funding for the first redevelopment of Carrara Stadium to begin at the end of 2009. Below is a picture an artist's impression of the original plans for the redeveloped ground. The second picture shows a second oval next to the stadium that would be built for training.





Additional funding a few months later allowed the roof to be extended around southern end of the stadium as can be seen in the pictures below.





Work on the redevelopment began in late 2009 when then-Premier Anna Bligh visited the site.


In the early parts of 2010 a lot of the former stadium is being cleared.





By mid-2010 the stadium has been completely leveled and all that remains are the fly swatter looking light towers. Below is a picture of the ground in mid-2010.



A tour of the Suns' facilities while under construction in 2010.


A time lapse of the stadium redevelopment.


We are now in 2011 and the stadium redevelopment is finally finished. Below are pictures of the newly named Metricon Stadium in 2011.









Now we can move on to the topic at hand - the stage 2 redevelopment. As most of you probably already know, the Gold Coast will be hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Metricon will be the main stadium used. A new northern stand will be installed which will increase capacity to 40,000. Below is a series of artist's impressions of what the redevelopment may look like once completed.







My understanding is that the ground level seating up the northern end will be removed to fit the running track on the ground. They will create a giant temporary stand of 12-15,000 extra seats at the river end with a few other areas of the stadium being filled in with seats. I'm also led to believe the electronic screen will be moved to the north-eastern side of the stadium as well as a second electronic screen being installed at the south-western end of the stadium.

Other upgrades to the area to look out for include the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre which includes administration and training facilities for the Suns, the refurbishment of the Carrara Indoor Stadium and a stadium ferry terminal to be installed on the Nerang River. So if you have any information regarding the stage 2 redevelopment of Metricon Stadium or the surrounding area then please share.
 
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Matchu

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This post will look at the Carrara Sports Precinct as a whole and the surrounding sporting facilities. Here is a picture of the plans for the Carrara Sports Precinct:



The project is broken into four sections:
  • The creation of the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.
  • The refurbishment of the Carrara Indoor Stadium.
  • The upgrade to Metricon Stadium.
  • The creation of the southern sports fields.
Let's start with the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre (CSLC). Below you will see a render for the CSLC and what it will look like by 2018. It will consist of two sports halls, the first consisting of 5000 permanent seats and the second consisting of 350 permanent seats that will be increased to 5000 temporary seats in games mode. The northern corner of the CSLC will also house the Gold Coast Suns admin and training facilities. The total cost of the CSLC is $101 million.



Now let's move on to the actual project photos. By April 2015, Gold Coast Soccer had evacuated their ground next to the indoor stadium in preparation for the construction of the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre (CSLC):



In August 2015 cranes began rolling into the site and foundation work was well underway:



By November 2015 the CSLC was beginning to take shape:

 
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Matchu

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A few other thoughts about the 5 or 6-star hotel and casino...

  • It would be the ideal location for travelling fans to stay near the stadium. It would also result in no one getting lost trying to get to Metricon.
  • It would almost definitely result in the creation of two ferry services, one at Metricon and one at the proposed casino and hotel. This would result in easy access for people staying at the hotel to get to Broadbeach/Surfers Paradise.
  • It would definitely result in the council upgrading surrounding walking paths and the like.
  • It would provide a nightlife in Nerang and an easy recreation option for people after games. Like Crown Casino in Melbourne but much closer to Metricon.
  • Nerang train station would probably be refurbished so the area as a whole looks better.
  • It is located on the Nerang river and there are plenty of ideas you could use on the water.
Above all else, it would make the area much more desirable to visit. At this point in time the only real reason to visit the area is to watch the footy or play golf. I'm very confident that other developments would pop up if this was given the green light.
 

Matchu

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Ferry service sails back on to agenda
THE bureaucratic tide is moving towards a Gold Coast ferry system, with the refloated system set to be part of plans for the Broadwater's future.

The State Government has launched its 2013-2023 Draft Waterways Management Strategy, giving the Gold Coast a glimpse at plans for the city's waterways, including the Southport Broadwater and canals between the Logan and Tweed rivers.

Among the ideas floated by the Newman Government's Gold Coast Waterways Authority are a review of speed limits, a Gold Coast-hosted international waterways symposium and the development of a smartphone and tablet app for boaties.

State Transport Minister Scott Emerson said it was likely ferries would come under the microscope.

"I have no doubt it will be discussed,'' he said.

"We have given the authority $35 million for infrastructure but rather than direct it out of George Street, locals should be able to have their say on what is important,'' Mr Emerson said.

"I suspect we will get a lot of feedback on a variety of issues.''

The planned council-run system will be fast-tracked by the council and could be online by late 2014, nearly eight years before its scheduled start of 2022.

It is expected to cost at least $10 million but no extra charges are expected to be placed on ratepayers.

It was proposed ferries would run from Runaway Bay to Broadbeach, with another stop at Carrara's Metricon Stadium to service AFL games and also the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The draft strategy, which is available online, outlines issues to be addressed by the strategy, including a lack of the necessary infrastructure and facilities.

Among the key actions listed in the report is to "identify and encourage provision of new destinations on the waterways for private and business users''.

"Infrastructure to access the waterways is inadequate to meet demand and the provision of additional boat ramps, moorings and foreshore facilities faces a number of challlenges including suitable land,'' the report said.

It comes with just three consortiums remaining in the race to develop the Broadwater Marine Project, which may feature a casino and cruise ship terminal.

Proposals are set to be go before the government in mid-October.
The bolded part is what is interesting in this article. If the system is in place by this time next year it would certainly help the Suns out a lot and not disturb the stage 2 redevelopment down the track. It's good to know that it is in the plans for the 2018 Comm Games which essentially means it is a part of the stage 2 redevelopment.

Not that I think they'll do all of these but the ferry service would allow direct access to Metricon Stadium from Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Bundall, Southport, Marina Mirage and Runaway Bay. Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise are the only destination that look likely though.

So, we have several things to keep an eye out for in this thread.
  • The new northern stand at Metricon Stadium
  • New training and admin facilities at the southern end of the stadium.
  • The extra athletics facilities on the northern side of the stadium.
  • The proposed ferry service on the eastern side of the stadium.
  • The rumoured 5 or 6-star hotel and casino 1km north of the stadium.
  • The possibility of a tram line running past the stadium from Broadbeach in the east and Nerang station in the west.
 

Matchu

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A few more observations about the northern end redevelopment. The light tower up the northern end (not on the river side) is really awkwardly placed for the expansion. See below.



It is far too close to allow a second tier to flow all the way around the open area and there is space on the left side of the open area (near the media area). If you look above at previous posts you will see the open space on the left side is intended to have the second tier extend. A bar/food store being located in that area may cause complications but the second tier shouldn't be too hard to include on the left of the northern most light tower. I estimate you could fit about 2,500 seats in that section. Then you have entire bottom tier up the northern end that will most likely be removed and replaced with a grand stand of 12,500 seats, 5000 of which will be higher than the rest of the stadium's second tier. A considerably smaller video screen will be located on the right side of the northern grandstand (see pic below) due to the light tower on the other side being too closely located.



Not only will this allow the extra 5000 seats to be removed post-Commonwealth Games and make a permanent capacity of 35,000 but it will also mean the northern end goals won't be located directly in front of a massive video screen. If possible, you'd want to bring the grandstand forward as well to be in line with the rest of the bottom tier. Imagine an opposition player lining up for goal at the northern end and having a grandstand of 7,500 people booing you.

All that is left to do after that would be to extend the roof all the way around the northern end and have a finished looking product. Speaking of the roof, extending it would be a good idea as it currently provides 20% of the required energy for the stadium via solar panels, the only stadium in Australia to do so. A pic below shows the solar panels if you have never noticed them.



So basically, that is what I would like them to do with the stadium and a few factors point to it being a reality. Creating large grandstands and decreasing them after the event isn't unheard of in this country. See below a picture of Sydney Olympic Stadium during the 2000 Olympics and post Olympics.


 

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Awesome effort on this thread as usual Matchu the light towers are in awkward positions hence why one was incorporated into the western side corporate area. Clever design like that should minimise the effect of the tower on the extension.

There is soooooooo much land around the area I hope that the Suns are lobbying the AFL for the creation of a social club either at the ground or across the road. Anything that will help us become independent and self sufficient as soon as possible would be in both the interest of the club and the AFL
 

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Awesome effort on this thread as usual Matchu the light towers are in awkward positions hence why one was incorporated into the western side corporate area. Clever design like that should minimise the effect of the tower on the extension.

There is soooooooo much land around the area I hope that the Suns are lobbying the AFL for the creation of a social club either at the ground or across the road. Anything that will help us become independent and self sufficient as soon as possible would be in both the interest of the club and the AFL
I was wondering if the club may push for the northern light tower to be moved backward but I don't think the cost would justify the result. They'll just build around it. As for further expansions, you would never be able to add anything more on the eastern side due to it being right next to the Nerang river.

You're not wrong about the spare landing surrounding the stadium. Perhaps a Suns social club could be built opposite the stadium with a multilevel car park behind it. That way Suns members would be able to park near the stadium and enjoy the social club benefits after a match. If anyone doesn't know the land we are talking about I have a picture below. Couldn't find any bigger pictures unfortunately.



You can see the existing car park on the western side of the stadium after you cross the road. I'd like them to use that land for the social club and the land behind it for a multistory car park. Then you add an overpass bridge from the social club to the stadium and suddenly we have a really nice area to visit. However, the land is on floodplain so you would have to make sure there is a water retention area located behind the multistory car park and the social club is elevated off the ground level.

We already know the land near the second oval is going to be used for the club admin and training facilities so why not add to this precinct with a social club. The club would make an absolutely killing during the 2018 Comm Games with a social club and they wouldn't even be using the stadium. The biggest advantage about the area is the fact that it is a blank canvas in some ways.
 

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There is soooooooo much land around the area I hope that the Suns are lobbying the AFL for the creation of a social club either at the ground or across the road. Anything that will help us become independent and self sufficient as soon as possible would be in both the interest of the club and the AFL
Something else to consider when talking about being financially self sufficient is the possibility of 'selling' the stadium for big sports events. The stadium meets FIFA (soccer), ICC (cricket), IRB (rugby union), NRL (rugby league) and ICAA (athletics) international standards. The Titans vs Broncos game probably makes the most sense of all. If we have a 35,000 seat stadium then why not host all the biggest Gold Coast events there? I know the Titans have a terrible stadium deal at Robina and I'm sure the Suns would be able to put together a package that would allow them to create more revenue at Metricon than at Robina while still making a nice little profit themselves. All it would take is for the NRL to schedule the Titans home game against the Broncos on a different day/weekend to a Suns game.

It might even appeal to more Brisbane fans more considering Nerang station is closer to Brisbane than Robina. A Big Bash League cricket team seems inevitable and won't disturb the Suns as it would be in the off season while national teams like the Wallabies (rugby union) and the Socceroos would likely be interested in hosting a game at a 35k stadium. All of these things are possible and would be huge money makers for us.
 

Matchu

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Something else to consider when talking about being financially self sufficient is the possibility of 'selling' the stadium for big sports events. The stadium meets FIFA (soccer), ICC (cricket), IRB (rugby union), NRL (rugby league) and ICAA (athletics) international standards. The Titans vs Broncos game probably makes the most sense of all. If we have a 35,000 seat stadium then why not host all the biggest Gold Coast events there? I know the Titans have a terrible stadium deal at Robina and I'm sure the Suns would be able to put together a package that would allow them to create more revenue at Metricon than at Robina while still making a nice little profit themselves. All it would take is for the NRL to schedule the Titans home game against the Broncos on a different day/weekend to a Suns game.

It might even appeal to more Brisbane fans more considering Nerang station is closer to Brisbane than Robina. A Big Bash League cricket team seems inevitable and won't disturb the Suns as it would be in the off season while national teams like the Wallabies (rugby union) and the Socceroos would likely be interested in hosting a game at a 35k stadium. All of these things are possible and would be huge money makers for us.
You make some interesting points. I guess you really have to base it on each individual situation for the sports.
  • Rugby League - Titans v Broncos does make the most sense of all their fixtures. I suspect it wouldn't be a permanent move to Metricon but rather one or two big games a year. Problem is, you don't know what will be big until it happens with the exception of the Broncos game. Temporary stands on the ground could be an issue for the playing surface as it would be during the AFL season.
  • Rugby Union - The Wallabies seem to play all year round but have used Robina Stadium in the past. Seems unlikely but still possible.
  • Soccer - If the Socceroos were to play an Asian nation like South Korea then it wouldn't be impossible to think that Metricon could host. FIFA international dates vary but there are certainly openings in the AFL off season. darkwingduck, how do the temporary stands on the ground of Etihad Stadium not obstruct the view of people in the bottom tier seats? I ask because I think it would be what would happen if Metricon were to host a Socceroos clash.
  • Cricket - Definitely the most possible/likely of them all. The Cricket season runs during the AFL off season and is really a perfect fit. A BBL team seems more of a case of when not if. Stadium is designed for a drop in pitch but I believe there is some problem with the way the pitch is directed? Nothing that can't be fixed though.
Even just getting one of those sports would be a great outcome for the Suns financially. I truly believe the Suns are open to letting the stadium be used when they aren't using it. The second stage of the redevelopment results in Metricon becoming the largest stadium on the Gold Coast and therefore should host all the big events.
 

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#10
Matchu: As for further expansions, you would never be able to add anything more on the eastern side due to it being right next to the Nerang river.

So at some point in the future if they wanted to expand the stadium again to say 50,000 seats then they would build a third tier around the southern and western end of the stadium? A great thing about that idea is the fact that you would be able to see the Gold Coast skyline in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach from the stadium as well as the footy. Your view wouldn't be obstructed because they'll never be able to build a third tier on the eastern side. It'd be a bit funny looking but plenty of stadiums around the world have some sections higher than others.
 

Matchu

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So at some point in the future if they wanted to expand the stadium again to say 50,000 seats then they would build a third tier around the southern and western end of the stadium? A great thing about that idea is the fact that you would be able to see the Gold Coast skyline in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach from the stadium as well as the footy. Your view wouldn't be obstructed because they'll never be able to build a third tier on the eastern side. It'd be a bit funny looking but plenty of stadiums around the world have some sections higher than others.
Sounds about right. As you said, you'd have to make the third tier on the southern and eastern sides and it'd make sense to add 15,000 seats and bring the total to 50,000. There is enough room for the poles that would be required but it'd kill the outside atmosphere a bit. We're talking about a potential stage 3 redevelopment which would be a long way off (unless the Suns become the most popular thing in town and average crowds in excess of 32,000).

I must admit, it would be pretty cool to see the Gold Coast skyline from Metricon but again, that is a long way off. You aren't wrong about stadiums having uneven levels of stands. Footy Park in Adelaide would be the perfect example...

 

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Cricket - Definitely the most possible/likely of them all. The Cricket season runs during the AFL off season and is really a perfect fit. A BBL team seems more of a case of when not if. Stadium is designed for a drop in pitch but I believe there is some problem with the way the pitch is directed? Nothing that can't be fixed though.
Yeah just checked the stadiums orientation and it's a north-south stadium. Any cricket pitch needs to be laid N-S to comply with ICC regulation, but that means the commentary boxes will be alongside the pitch rather than behind it. One alternative is to build a second media box behind one of the goals for cricket. Adelaide oval is an example of a N-S stadium that will have 2 media boxes, one for footy and one for cricket.
 

Matchu

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Yeah just checked the stadiums orientation and it's a north-south stadium. Any cricket pitch needs to be laid N-S to comply with ICC regulation, but that means the commentary boxes will be alongside the pitch rather than behind it. One alternative is to build a second media box behind one of the goals for cricket. Adelaide oval is an example of a N-S stadium that will have 2 media boxes, one for footy and one for cricket.
I don't know a huge deal about Cricket but I'm fairly sure the big video screen up the northern end would distract the batter so you'd have to run it to the south. This would also allow the commentators to set up a temporary booth on the northern end where the standing room is (underneath the video screen). Not sure how many cameras they have up the northern end so that could be an issue as well. I could be missing something else but that seems to be the only way to do it in my opinion.
 

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Doubt the fans would be happy if every second over the screen goes off. Will have to be moved, cant be behind the bowlers arm. I'm not a fan of screens being behind goals anyway. Have 1 on each wing.
 

Matchu

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Matchu, in cricket you swap ends every 6 ball. T20 i think its 30. they would just white out the screen.
Doubt the fans would be happy if every second over the screen goes off. Will have to be moved, cant be behind the bowlers arm. I'm not a fan of screens being behind goals anyway. Have 1 on each wing.
No doubt about the fact that the screen must be moved, not only for potential Cricket matches but the northern grandstand. The best place to put the screen would be on the right side of the northern end where there is still some space but it won't intrude with the northern grandstand or blur the batter's view. I'll post the picture one more time just so you get the idea of the location I am talking about.

 

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Definatley a better place then it is now. Holy I think at the gabba they turn the screen off every delivery and then show the replay while the field resets.
 

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Definatley a better place then it is now. Holy I think at the gabba they turn the screen off every delivery and then show the replay while the field resets.
They do that because of Channel 9 for some reason, like Channel 9 doesnt let the grounds show the deliveries live. They do it at the WACA too despite the screen being at square leg, but for the Big Bash the screen showed every delivery and never went off.
 

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Ah that would explain it. Personally i would prefer aleague over cricket at metricon, Less potential issues with soccer then cricket pitches. Would be worried about centre square. Does the a league overlap afl season?
 

Matchu

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Does any one know how similar our stadium deal is to Geelong's? If it's anything similar we should be in a financially viable position for a very long time.
I believe Geelong have the best stadium deal in the AFL and the Suns aren't far behind. The operator of Metricon, Stadiums Queensland, is notorious for doing bad stadium deals. Luckily, the AFL were able to leverage a nice deal due to the fact that they invest $10m in the first redevelopment. This allowed the Suns to gain management rights of the stadium. The financial viability of the deal is heavily dependent on the Gold Coast Suns attracting other events at Metricon.

This is why securing the Big Day Out for the next five years was such a big deal. The one day music festival injects an estimated $40m into the local economy and I previously estimated that if the Suns could even get 5% of that turnover it would mean $2m profit for renting out the stadium for one day. As far as I'm aware, the Suns have made a loss over the last two years but the telling stat will be at the end of the current financial year when their profit from the BDO comes into effect. Attracting the big events to Metricon like a Titans-Broncos game or a Big Bash League Cricket team just means more money for the Suns. There isn't much to worry about, they are well set up.

I have previously read the Titans need to attract a crowd of 15,000 just to break even on game day so I would presume the Suns don't need to draw that many to make a profit but then you have to take into account the fact that the total yearly costs is much higher in the AFL.

Ah that would explain it. Personally i would prefer aleague over cricket at metricon, Less potential issues with soccer then cricket pitches. Would be worried about centre square. Does the a league overlap afl season?
A-League has been tried on the Gold Coast and they used the rectangular stadium in Robina. They averaged less than 4,000 people to a game. You couldn't possibly justify a low drawing A-League team playing in an oval stadium. However, the Socceroos would almost definitely pull a crowd of 30k which would require a renovated Metricon. Cricket makes the most sense for a non-national team.
 

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Yeah the thing I worry about is it turning into the SCG of a couple of years back. I know drop in pitchwork is getting better all the time but we get enough leg injuries without adding that bit of drama. A League seems a much better product then what it has been in the past. I'm a cricket tragic but even i can accept state cricket is dead. Even the abc doesn't broadcast games live anymore just go for the scores. 20/20 had a great start just not sure if its sustainable.
 

Matchu

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Yeah the thing I worry about is it turning into the SCG of a couple of years back. I know drop in pitchwork is getting better all the time but we get enough leg injuries without adding that bit of drama. A League seems a much better product then what it has been in the past. I'm a cricket tragic but even i can accept state cricket is dead. Even the abc doesn't broadcast games live anymore just go for the scores. 20/20 had a great start just not sure if its sustainable.
To be honest, T20 is the only concept I can see working at Metricon anyway. The Suns won't want to give up their facilities for six months of the year but a BBL T20 team would use the stadium for two months at the most. The first step for the Suns/GC Cricket is to get the Brisbane Heat to move one of their four annual games at the Gabba to Metricon and show there is interest. Fair chance of it happening next season.
 

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Queensland Cricket need 25000 at the Gabba just to break even so if we want to steal games from there we need to provide a better deal than that, which shouldn't be too difficult.
 
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