Dubbo Regional Council has decided to move the Dubbo junior rugby league grand finals to preserve the ground for an upcoming A-League trial match.
Council made the decision to move the junior football games to an alternate facility at the Monday night August meeting.
Concerns had already been raised by experts about the condition of Apex Oval.
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Council was worried that a full day of junior rugby league one week prior to the trial would deteriorate the ground and force the A-League match between the Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC to be cancelled. Doing so would lose council $50,000.
Instead, the grand final matches will have to be held at Victoria Park Oval 1, the outer fields of Apex Oval or Barden Park.
Councillor Anne Jones was the only one of the nine elected representatives present at the meeting to vote against the change of location for the finals.
"I will never support anything that is not in the best interest of our community and our children," Cr Jones said.
"I know that possibly we did get it wrong but at the end of the day our Dubbo community and our Dubbo children come first before $50,000."
Group 11 secretary Paul Loxley said it was great to get an A-League event for Dubbo, but the junior players should not be forgotten.
"I've certainly seen players walk onto the arena after coming out of the sheds and look back up when they walk out to play. Everyone would get a thrill," Mr Loxley said.
"I imagine if the kids got to play tier finals, whether they were rugby or league that they would not forget the day they went out for the first time on Apex Oval."
But, despite councillors like Vicki Etheridge saying it was a "gut-wrenching" decision that she "made with a very, very heavy heart", overall it was decided the economic benefits the A-League match would bring to Dubbo were more important.
Cr Greg Mohr said Dubbo couldn't risk losing its reputation as a destination for major sporting events.
"This will give Dubbo and Dubbo Regional Council and extremely bad name if this event is cancelled due to the facility not being up to scratch," the councillor said.
"I know for a fact that people are disappointed. It is disappointing that people have to move but this is Dubbo at stake. If this falls in a heap Dubbo will never get a national game like this again."
Cr Mohr admitted council had gotten it wrong.
Dubbo Regional Council has also decided to waive the $4800 fees for the junior rugby league's 2019/2020 season.
Council will also develop a risk management plan for booking local games and special events at Apex Oval in 2020.
Councillor Stephen Lawrence was absent from the meeting.