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Even brighter future for OKI Jubilee Stadium

Published: Monday 17th July 2006  |  More News

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A new look OKI Jubilee Stadium was unveiled in June before a bizarre three-field-goal match between the Dragons and Parramatta.

A crowd of die-hard supporters including the Prime Minister and No.1 ticket holder John Howard braved pouring rain to inspect the results of OKI Jubilee's $8 million overhaul on the night of Friday, June 2.

Fans watched from brand-new tiered terraces at the north western end, seating rows tracing the lower concourse perimeter and a newly raised and re-grassed hill as Dragons star Ben Hornby kicked two late field goals to snatch victory.

With 6235 new seats in total, the ground's capacity has expanded to 20,541, up from 17,500, and will soon boast a corporate education center at the northern end.

Complete with ticketing booth, bar, kiosk and merchandise area, the English St entrance also made its debut together with OKI Jubilee's new scoreboard.

Redevelopment Project Co-ordinator Frank Bates said Channel Nine production staff were impressed by the quality of the stadium lights tailored for both high definition television coverage and spectator comfort.

"The feedback has been really good, although it was hard to judge on the night because it was raining so heavily," Mr Bates said. "But everyone is just amazed about the transformation of the ground."

On the day, Premier of NSW and avowed Dragons fan Morris Iemma announced an additional $7 million grant for arguably Australia's most hallowed sporting ground.

"The St George-Illawarra Dragons are one of the most famous brands in any code of football anywhere in the world," Mr Iemma remarked.

"The Club has a huge support base and the community, fans and players deserve a stadium that meets the standards expected of a modern 21st century sporting venue."

Mr Bates said upgrading the grandstand and extending and renovating dressing room facilities was next on the agenda.

Member for Kogarah Cherie Burton said the funding would produce the comfort St George fans deserve and also better facilities for local youngsters. "The Masterplan for the facilities will be of major benefit to the whole St George area including a range of sporting groups, schools and community organisations," Ms Burton said.

Dragons CEO Peter Doust welcomed the announcement and expressed his appreciation to the Premier and Members of Parliment from our area, Cherie Burton, Kevin Greene and Frank Sartor.

"The Premier and his colleagues were part of the initial funding commitment which allowed re-development works to commence at Oki Jubilee in 2002," said Mr Doust. "To see the Government provide us a further opportunity to develop spectator facilities recognises their support of the community of St George and all at the Dragons are very grateful for their support".

 

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