We've all heard the Canberra stadium debate - it's been hard to ignore for 14 years. But we may have missed something along the way and the glaring omission is being exposed now. The city's mid-level venues - that is those that are better than community grounds but not as "grand" as Canberra Stadium - are in need of upgrades or overhauls. Take the Canberra Capitals at the National Convention Centre, for example. About five minutes into the second quarter of the first game there was one sausage roll and four pies left as food options. Or Canberra United at McKellar Park, where only 500 seats are shielded from the sun and there's a small canteen at the back of the grandstand serving more than 2000 people. It is hoped there is some relief on the horizon, with the AIS Arena planned to reopen next year, a new basketball court at University of Canberra and a $35 million "Home of Football" at Throsby. But the growing pains are real. Just ask anyone who had to wait 15-20 minutes for a bucket of chips at the Capitals (first-world problem), or those who were caught in a Gundaroo Drive traffic jam at McKellar. How can we expect women's sports to grow if both current venues - McKellar Park and the convention centre - have just one food outlet for crowds of between 1000-2500 people? The combined crowd tally of both WNBL and A-League Women's games last weekend was a record for Canberra sport and reflects the changing supporter base for the competitions. For years attendance levels have fluctuated based on results. Now there seems to be a swell, but no one knows how long it will last. It probably is the right call to wait until both venues are bursting at the seams before committing to new facilities or upgraded grandstands. But maybe now is the time to talk about it to be ready. The University of Canberra has been flagged as a potential boutique rectangular venue location, which could host men's and women's Super Rugby, A-League and NRLW. What's the right size? Maybe 5000-10,000. Apparently it's not all smooth sailing for the AIS Arena reopening, which has been pegged in for the middle of next year. The arena has been closed since early 2020, when it was shut indefinitely due to safety concerns. MORE CANBERRA SPORT It became a political no-go zone, until it was thrust on to the federal election radar last year. That led to the Australian Sports Commission landing $10 million in funding to fix the problems - the fire alarm system, the lighting, the air-conditioning and seating. But we hear there's another hiccup with the movable basketball-netball court, which was kept in storage. If it needs to replaced, it will add to the maintenance bill. The commission doesn't want to pay for it, but neither does the ACT government. Watch this space.