The ongoing redevelopment of Kogarah's Oki Jubilee Stadium received a massive boost today with a $7 million contribution from the NSW Government.
NSW Premier, Morris Iemma announced the funding today, coinciding with the first appearance of the St George Illawarra Dragons at Oki Jubilee this year.
He said the funding would help the Dragons club complete its Masterplan for a modern, spectator friendly Stadium seating over 20,000 patrons.
"The St George Illawarra Dragons are one of the most famous brands in any code of football anywhere in the world," Mr Iemma said.
"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.
"The recent upgrade work at Oki Jubilee added new lighting and replaced outdated bench seating with more than six thousand individual seats.
"This $7 million injection of funding will help the club to complete a stadium that will serve the needs of the community for many years to come."
The NSW Government funding will go towards further development over the next two years, including:
Construction of a new two-tiered extension to the seating north of the existing grandstand, with provision for day-hire corporate facilities;
Construction of a new two-tiered extension to the southern terrace, expanding capacity from a few hundred seats to approximately 2,000;
Improvements to spectator access to the main grandstand, making way for future expansion;
The creation of a building facing Park Street to house football offices, a function room and upgraded dressing rooms; and
Upgrade work on the southern hill with the construction of a single tiered grandstand with seating for up to 1,000 patrons, and provision for new commercial rooms.
Mr Iemma was joined at today's announcement by St George Illawarra Dragons CEO, Peter Doust, the Member for Kogarah, Cherie Burton and the Member for Georges River, Kevin Greene.
Ms Burton said the funding recognised the importance of Oki Jubilee Stadium to the Kogarah community.
"This Stadium has such a proud history that dates back more than a century, and is listed with Kogarah Council as an item of local heritage significance," she said.
"Bringing the Stadium up to a standard where football fans can enjoy matches in a safe and comfortable environment will ensure a proud future as well."
Mr Greene congratulated local councils and the local community who supported the bid to upgrade the Stadium.
"Jubilee Oval is a much loved community facility and there has been enormous local support to ensure that Dragons' home games could continue to be played here," Mr Greene said.
"The Masterplan project will be of major benefit to the whole St George area including a range of sporting groups, schools and community organisations."
Dragons CEO Peter Doust welcomed the announcement and expressed his appreciation to the Premier and Local Members.
"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 Doust. "This allowed us to return our Sydney home games to our local community the following season.
"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".