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Stadium plans to quickly swallow up NSW Government’s $600 million sporting infrastructure fund

Stadium plans to quickly swallow up NSW Government’s $600 million sporting infrastructure fund
November 27, 2014

Competing plans to upgrade and develop stadia across Sydney look set to rapidly swallow up the NSW Government's allocation of $600 million for sporting facilities.

Part of a $1.2 billion Sport and Cultural Fund to finance the development of arts and sports facilities that will be paid for by the sale of currently State-owned electricity networks across NSW, the $600 million for sport facilties already faces competing claims from projects including enlarging the Allianz Stadium at Moore Park, the ANZ Stadium's redevelopment and a new rectangular stadium in Western Sydney.

Meanwhile, the $600 million cultural infrastructure blueprint is set to back improvements to the Sydney Opera House, the expansion of the Art Gallery of NSW, an indigenous cultural centre at Barangaroo and the potential relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney.

The competing aspirations of Sydney's stadia saw the ANZ Stadium reveal its plans last week, along with a call for $250 million in NSW Government funding (see ANZ Stadium operators 'confident' of $250 million NSW Government redevelopment contribution).

However, the National Rugby League (NRL) is backing a $300 million upgrade of the Allianz Stadium into a 65,000-seat venue as well as improvements to the Parramatta (Pirtek Stadium) to, according to an NRL statement "to address the need for a stadium that caters for rectangular sports."

Commending the funding and the "the NSW Government’s commitment to upgrading Sydney’s stadia network to deliver a better experience for rugby league fans", NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith said the Government’s willingness to invest $600 million towards delivering a world-class rectangular stadium network was an important step in the process.

Smith stated "more than 100 games of elite rugby league are played in this city each year – and we are by far and away the largest provider of elite sporting content in NSW.

“(This) announcement is massive for our game. Our fans have missed out in the past but the greatest game of all deserves a world-class experience.

“Our fans deserve facilities that bring them closer to the action and are easy to get to. That means facilities that are purpose built for rugby league.

“The best stadia in the world are those where people already live and work nearby, are part of thriving precincts and are on public transport hubs so fans can access them easily.”

Smith said Moore Park was on the doorstep of the CBD and with the commitment to building a light rail service to run past its doorstep it had the key attributes to make it a truly great, world-class stadium.

As the major provider of content for the stadium, the NRL is partnering with the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust on a concept design for options to redevelop Allianz Stadium.

The NRL’s upfront funding partnership with Allianz was aimed at securing rugby league fans a seat at the design table to assist meet critical deadlines for government funding.

Smith added “upgrading Allianz is a logical first step and there is no doubt it will become a cornerstone of Sydney’s stadia network

“A second world-class stadium, however, is needed in central western Sydney and we will continue to work with the Government on the best possible solution.

“These are decisions that shape the long term future and we are determined that the fans of today, and the fans of tomorrow, get the best outcome.”

At this stage it appears that community aquatic, entertainment, fitness, performing arts, recreation and sport facilities will not be backed by the Sport and Cultural Fund.

Images shows plans for a roofed Allianz Stadium.




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