The NSW stadium plan is finally set with ANZ Stadium set to undergo a major $700 million redevelopment while Allianz Stadium will get an upgrade.
The Homebush venue, home of the Sydney Olympics, has often been unpopular with fans, but that is set to change with the redevelopment. At the centre of the works is converting it into a permanent 75,000-seat rectangular stadium (down from the current 83,500 capacity).
With AFL and cricket exiting the venue, there is no longer a need to facilitate oval sports, and rather than attempting to satisfy both, the new-look venue will offer the best experience for rectangular sports.
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Sports Minister Stuart Ayres announced on Thursday 14 April that the NSW Government’s allocated $1.6 billion investment in Sydney sporting infrastructure will go toward the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium ($700m), upgrade of Allianz Stadium ($450m) and a new stadium at Parramatta ($350m).
Premier Baird said the transformation of ANZ Stadium “will be fast-tracked” and would begin “in the current term of Government”. (Construction engineers have confirmed work could begin as soon as after the 2017 NRL Grand Final or in 2018).
The redevelopment will feature a completely new seating bowl built within the existing stadium, bringing seats on all six levels up to 48 metres closer to the action, while the steepness of the seating will be increased, on par with Suncorp Stadium. Retractable seating at either end will bring fans closer when required for sports such as soccer.
Another major aspect of the redevelopment is a brand new retractable roof, keeping fans and players dry no matter what Sydney’s weather delivers.
The stadium is expected to remain fully operational as the new rectangular seating bowl is built progressively within the existing stadium, before Sydney unveils its new 70,000 to 75,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof to the world in 2022.
Mr Kerry said: “Sydney’s Olympic stadium has served Sydney well in the 17 years it has been in operation since it was purpose-built for the 2000 Sydney Games, with more than 23 million fans having passed through the turnstiles to witness many of Australia’s most iconic sporting moments.
“The NSW Government announcement guarantees an exciting future for Sydney’s Olympic stadium.
“But, most of all, this project is for the fans who will get to enjoy many of Australia’s greatest sporting events in a Stadium that will once again become the iconic venue it was built to be.”