To see behind the scenes at WIN Stadium...

The pre-season cup fixture at WIN stadium, Wollongong between Sydney and Wellington was promoted by the South Coast bid as a way to show support for the local bid. On match day, the bid had a tent with merchandise for sale.

"The local rugby league team was on TV and the Wallabies, and yet we still got this crowd," bid chairman Eddy De Gabriele told

"And remember, neither Sydney or Phoenix are our team."

De Gabriele wants to draw fans all down the south coast if the franchise gets the green light.

"All the way down but we don't want to go into Sydney - we don't want to compete with Sydney FC in their market. Waterfall and down will do."

The bid wants to include junior associations all down the south coast of NSW.

"And don't forget, we'll have the Tim Cahill academy, a great opportunity for kids all the way down the south coast to learn their skills," added De Gabriele.

Socceroo Cahill, along with Scott Chipperfield, have thrown their support behind the bid appearing on their website.

And they are banking on strong grassroots support to drive future, large-scale financial investment into the club.

"The key points of the bid are first the community engagement model. That's critical. Once we get the community behind us, we'll get numbers to our games and then the corporates will get behind us too.

"The second element is the financial. And the third one is our governance," said De Gabriele.

The FFA have stipulated $5 million war chest is needed to operate an A-League club in the first two years. However, WIN stadium may provide a challenge to the bid.

The new northern grandstand (behind the goal) is excellent and houses around 4-5000 all-seated plus corporate boxes. The southern grandstand is also A-League standard with a double-tier of seating, although it is quite old.

Where the stadium falls down is the western grandstand, which is old and cramped while the eastern side is an old fashioned hill with no seating at all.

However, a feasibility study for the redevelopment of the western grandstand has been announced by the state government and will be complete by October.

It's hoped that there will be a strong enough case for the government and perhaps private investment to undertake a full redevelopment.

The hope is that the western side will be turned into a "modern grandstand with commercial and corporate facilities including conference facilities," says De Gabriele.

That will join up the three grandstands to make the stadium a potential 18,000 all-seater which only leaves the hill.

"Because of environmental impact studies [it's around 40yds away from the beach] it's difficult but it's possible to have temporary stands there but no permanent structures."

There are currently moves behind the scenes to secure a major sponsor which will reduce the bid's operating costs.

"We're very close to securing the money needed to put something to the FFA," added Bill Drossos, the bid deputy chairman.

The bid's formal application is already with the FFA and it's expected South Coast Football will meet FFA at the end of August to present their full submission.

"Obviously we'd love to have that single benefactor, such as in the Gold Coast. However, the reality is that if we provide a broader spectrum of financial support a single benefactor coming in would find it more attractive," said Drossos.

"The Central Coast is our model. They've been going three years and they've met the benchmarks. We're aiming for 2009/10 but if that doesn't happen, we're not going away. It could be 2010/11."

And both Drossos and De Gabriele did not want to antogonise the local rugby league community - in fact, they want to embrace it.

"We are working with the Steelers club. When you are in a regional area, you can't work against the local codes. Because we share the same bucket of sponsors and people. So we don't want to exclude people from our market," said De Gabrielle.

"We're a summer sport, they're a winter sport. So there is an opportunity to utilise a facility like this [WIN stadium] 12 months a year so we can provide value to our corporates, sponsors, backers and supporters to perhaps buy packages and get some sort of exposure into rugby league.

"At the moment there are only five home games for St George Illawarra. The A-League gives another minimum 11 home games. So all of a sudden the commercial case for the redevelopment of the western grandstand becomes a more attractive option."

De Gabrielle added: "We want to work together."

To see behind the scenes at WIN Stadium...