The NSW Government’s decision to commit funding to the upgrade of ANZ Stadium, rather than a new stadium at Moore Park, is a “common-sense” victory for Western Sydney, according to Christopher Brown, Chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.
“NSW Premier Mike Baird should be applauded for putting an end to the ‘stadia wars’ and prioritising ANZ Stadium and Sydney Olympic Park as the nation’s premier events and sporting precinct,” Mr Brown said.
“We are also grateful for the support the project has received from various NRL clubs, FFA boss David Gallop and State Opposition Leader, and local MP, Luke Foley.
“This decision means better facilities for the NRL, FFA and ARU, improves the spectator experience and minimises the impact on those teams affected by the refurbishments. It also allows Sydney to attract international concerts, NFL games and other events.”
Today’s announcement by the NSW Premier, confirmed that $750m will be invested into ANZ Stadium to turn it into a 75,000-seat rectangular venue, in addition to the $350m already committed to rebuilding Parramatta Stadium. Importantly, the West will win in the scheduling, with Parramatta Stadium work starting in September this year, then the ANZ Stadium project commencing in 2018 and the Allianz as the final project. There is also a plan for a future boutique rectangular stadium in the West, with Liverpool and Penrith battling to host the venue.
Mr Brown added that now that the ANZ Stadium deal was finalised, and was being converted to a permanent rectangular field, there was also an opportunity to investigate a smaller upgrade to complete the Spotless Stadium oval, as part of the Sydney Showgrounds Masterplan.
“Olympic Park is the capital of sports and major events in Australia, and finishing the work to nearby Spotless Stadium, home of the GWS Giants and Sydney Thunder, and increasing its capacity to 30,000, would ensure Western Sydney has sufficient capacity and facilities to suit all codes and all sports fans. The RAS deserves a modest injection of $20 million to complete the stadium and allow Western Sydney to host 20/20 Internationals and GWS Finals home games.
“With a light rail connection on its way, linking Sydney Olympic Park with Parramatta and an upgraded Rosehill Gardens racecourse, the opportunities that surround the growth of Western Sydney as an entertainment, lifestyle and leisure destination, should have everyone excited.”