A promise from Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff to cap spending on the Macquarie Point AFL stadium, in a bid to cool criticism of the project as the state election campaign begins, has seen critics declare it dead.

After calling the early poll for March 23, Liberal leader Rockliff moved to guarantee the state wouldn’t pay a cent more than the $375 million it is currently budgeted to spend on the 23,000-seat roofed stadium, of the total $715 million.

Given the track record of most major projects around the country running over budget, Rockliff – who has been the strongest supporter of the stadium in a state torn over whether it should spend the money elsewhere amid a cost-of-living crisis and health system concerns – made the commitment in a bid to counteract the major criticism of his plan.

“This is a political fix and it means the end of the stadium, because the agreement he (Rockliff) signed with the AFL transferred all the risk to the state,” Roland Browne, spokesman for anti-stadium Our Place Hobart, told News Corp.

“He’s had the best part of a year to resolve funding for the stadium. That he attempts to do it on the first day of an election campaign is both embarrassing and ludicrous.”

“There is no prospect of any private capital going into this unplanned, unfunded, and wrongly sited stadium.”