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NSW Government ends VenuesLive’s management of Sydney’s CommBank and Accor Stadiums

NSW Government ends VenuesLive’s management of Sydney’s CommBank and Accor Stadiums
November 10, 2023

The NSW Government is to end the long term management of Sydney’s Accor and CommBank Stadiums by VenuesLive as of the beginning of next year, with the venues to be operated by its Venues NSW agency moving forward.

Venues NSW taking over the direct operation and management of the Western Sydney venues from 1st January 2024 will end the management of Accor Stadium (also known as Stadium Australia) by a core management team that dates back to the lead-up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

VenuesLive has managed Parramatta’s CommBank Stadium since 2019.

In a statement on the takeover, Venues NSW advised Australasian Leisure Management that it "will employ significantly more staff directly to deliver a strong schedule of events, with the majority of the current stadiums’ operational and event delivery employees to be offered new roles.

"The change in stadium operation will deliver a consistent customer experience across the Venues NSW network and will continue to capitalise on the NSW Government's significant investment in major public entertainment and sporting facilities."

However, the circumstances of the change of management may indicate some sensitivity within the NSW Government given the impact it will have on Western Sydney at a time when the NSW Government and other influences are pushing for more concerts at Allianz Stadium in Sydney’s east - largely ignoring that Accor Stadium, with its larger capacity, already hosts a large number of major outdoor concerts. During the upcoming summer it will host performances by the Foo Fighters, Juicy Fest, Taylor Swift and P!nk.

Initially revealed in a story in the sports section of Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph on 7th October, the NSW Government has released no statement or press release on the change.

When the office of NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper was asked about the change by this publication, the response was that the change was “an operational matter”.

In response to further questions, a spokeperson for Minister Kamper - who has issued more than 40 press releases since his appointment in April on topics including new screens at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium, new appointees to Venues NSW board and on-grass parking at Moore Park - did respond.

The spokesperson advised “Venues NSW was created to provide long-term oversight and direction across the fantastic sporting and entertainment venues in this state.”

“Accor Stadium and Commbank Stadium will be fully incorporated into the Venues NSW network, as VenuesLive's contract expires at the end of the year.

“We want to be the premier destination city in the Asia Pacific and to do that we need to capitalise on the incredible facilities this state has to offer.

“Importantly, this will provide significant opportunities to champion local businesses that will benefit the State economy and solidify NSW's position as the home of major events."

Venue NSW’s Catering Contract
Yesterday it was announced that, VenuesLive’s contract for catering at Accor and CommBank Stadiums as well as, Australasian Leisure Management understands, McDonald Jones Stadium and Wollongong’s WIN Stadium and Entertainment Centre, would not be renewed.

The change comes despite the VenuesLive Catering business being widely acknowledged as one of the best in-venue catering operations in the country - as evidenced by its teams at Accor and CommBank Stadiums and Perth’s Optus Stadium winning major awards at the prestigious Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence.

Moving Forward
VenuesLive will continue to operate Optus Stadium, on behalf of the Government of Western Australia, along with Gosford’s Industree Group Stadium, on behalf of the Central Coast Council.

Venues NSW faces a potential challenge with Accor Group’s $5 million a year naming rights sponsorship of Accor Stadium conflicting with brands such as Crown Sydney which is to be introduced at the venue.

Images: The NRL Grand Final at Accor Stadium (top) fans outside the venue during the recent FIFA Women's World Cup (middle) and CommBank Stadium (below).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-founder/Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-founder and Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

In 2020, he launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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2nd November 2023 - VenuesLive secures major event and venue catering awards in two states

31st October 2023 - New Eat From Your Seat delivery launches at Gold Coast’s Cbus Super Stadium

26th October 2023 - American Express and Venues NSW partnership sees launch of new hospitality options at Allianz Stadium

20th September 2023 - NSW budget invests in grassroots sports facilities and confirms Penrith Stadium planning

15th September 2023 - Grandstand at Sydney’s Accor Stadium renamed in honour of Cathy Freeman

15th August 2023 - David Gallop named new Venues NSW Chair after Morris Iemma steps down

12th August 2023 - NSW Government exhibits plans for more concerts at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium

24th July 2023 - Sydney’s Accor Stadium announced as host venue for 2023 NRL Grand Final

21st July 2023 - VenuesLive and Veolia collaboratie to install 460 new recycling bins at Perth’s Optus Stadium

3rd May 2023 - NSW Government looks to raise cap on concert events at the SCG and Allianz Stadium

30th March 2023 - Ministers sworn in for NSW’s new Government as incoming Premier advises of end to suburban stadium funding

24th March 2023 - Sydney’s Accor Stadium transitions from concert venue to sporting arena

22nd March 2023 - Changing rooms at Sydney’s Accor Stadium get major upgrade ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup

7th February 2023 - 400,000 people expected at summer of major headline events at Sydney’s Accor Stadium

18th July 2022 - Rugby Australia condemns deplorable crowd incidents at SCG

8th July 2022 - Venues NSW seeks approval for concerts at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium

6th July 2022 - VenuesLive commences naming rights partner search for Central Coast Stadium

19th November 2021 - Merivale to deliver hospitality services for SCG and new Sydney Football Stadium

27th August 2021 - NEC agrees 10-year display network link with Venues NSW

17th November 2020 - Appointments announced for Venues NSW Board

21st July 2020 - VenuesLive flags permanent employment opportunities at ANZ, Bankwest and Optus Stadiums

23rd June 2020 - NSW Government announces merger of SCG Trust and Venues NSW


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