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City of Launceston announces intent to transfer ownership of UTAS Stadium to Stadiums Tasmania
The intention to transfer ownership of UTAS Stadium to the new State Government management entity, Stadiums Tasmania has been advertised by City of Launceston.
UTAS Stadium, currently owned, managed and operated by the City of Launceston, hosts AFL and AFLW football, Big Bash League cricket, local sports groups, and entertainment events.
The Council is expected to make a formal decision on the transfer of ownership early next year.
The decision will include the consideration of any objections received about the intended disposal before Monday 11th December 2023.
Launceston's premier sports ground, York Park, is located in the suburb of Inveresk and has hosted a range of sporting, entertainment and community events for more than a century.
Known as UTAS Stadium under a commercial naming rights sponsorship agreement, the stadium has previously also been known as Aurora Stadium.
It is classified in Australia as a Tier 2 Stadia, meaning it has a capacity of between 20,000 and 40,000 patrons, provides some corporate facilities and acts as a home ground for a sporting franchise in a national competition.
UTAS Stadium is a significant asset for Northern Tasmania and generates an estimated $30 million in visitor spending annually in the region.
Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said the City of Launceston's management of the Stadium had brought many benefits to the region, but that it was unusual in a modern context for a Tier 2 Stadium to be managed by a local Council.
Mayor Garwood advised "The City of Launceston developed the York Park (UTAS Stadium) Future Directions Plan in 2021, which explored the best ways to put the stadium on a sustainable and successful path for the future.
"Transferring ownership of the stadium to a management authority like Stadiums Tasmania would bring UTAS Stadium into line with other Tier 2 Stadia across the country, which are generally owned by State Governments either directly, or through a Trust or Authority.
"The development of the York Park (UTAS Stadium) Future Directions Plan prompted discussions with the State Government around the transfer of ownership of the stadium to Stadiums Tasmania.
"Following these discussions, the State and Federal Governments have committed more than $130 million in funding for upgrades and expansion of UTAS Stadium in recognition of the venue's continuing importance as a sporting and entertainment venue — a major investment in our region which would be overseen by Stadiums Tasmania.
"It's intended that Stadiums Tasmania will bring together a range of experts with specialised skills to grow content at the facilities it manages, including UTAS Stadium."
The advertising of the Council's intention to transfer ownership of the stadium follows endorsement by the Council of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister for Stadia and Events Nic Street on future AFL and AFLW content in Launceston.
Mayor Garwood said the Council had been eager to ensure that UTAS Stadium continued to host at least four AFL matches each year when it was under the management of Stadiums Tasmania.
"We expect to formally sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Government at a ceremony in Launceston next month," Mayor Garwood said.
"While the Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding, it represents a clear publicly stated commitment from the parties around their intentions, on top of the legally binding responsibilities outlined in the Stadiums Tasmania Act 2022.
"The Stadiums Tasmania Act 2022 specifies that Stadiums Tasmania must continue to attract and deliver international and national sporting, entertainment and events content across its portfolio of venues, which includes UTAS Stadium."
Image: 2023 concept for a new stand at UTAS Stadium.
9th November 2023 - Plans for new Hobart stadium reach major milestone
14th September 2023 - Board announced for Tasmania’s AFL and AFLW team
18th August 2023 - GWS GIANTS Chief Operating Officer to head Stadiums Tasmania
1st May 2023 - City of Launceston welcomes federal funding for UTAS Stadium
3rd February 2023 - Directors appointed to new Stadiums Tasmania board
15th October 2021 - Bill to create Stadiums Tasmania agency tabled in Tasmanian Parliament
23rd August 2021 - Launceston’s UTAS Stadium to host AFL elimination finals
8th February 2021 - $200 million plus redevelopment plan proposed for Launceston’s UTAS Stadium
7th February 2020 - AFL Taskforce report shows Tasmanian team viable and sustainable
23rd October 2019 - Concept revealed for stadium for Tasmanian AFL franchise
22nd December 2014 - Cricket Tasmania unveils new Blundstone Arena stand
29th January 2014 - New lighting unveiled at Aurora Stadium
8th August 2011 - Aurora Stadium’s new grandstand gets official launch
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