Gladys Berejiklian and the NSW Parliament have finally signed off on a deal that will see both the Sydney Olympic Stadium and the Sydney Football Stadium completely torn down and rebuilt, in a project that’s set to cost the state a whopping $2.3billion.
The announcement brings to an end a long and protracted negotiation period that began when then-premier Mike Baird first floated the stadium redevelopment deal some 18 months ago.
This deal, which will now go ahead, will see the Moore Park football stadium torn down from next year, with work at the Homebush site of the Olympic Stadium – corporately known as ANZ Stadium – set to begin in 2019.
In their place will be a new rectangular football stadium at the Moore Park site that will seat approximately 45,000 people, and a multi-purpose stadium at Homebush with a seating capacity expected to reach between 75,000 and 80,000 people.
Baird’s original proposal would’ve seen the existing Olympic Stadium overhauled into a rectangular-only stadium at a cost of around $700 million.
Pushback from sporting organisations such as the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, the Australian Rugby Union, and Sydney FC forced the Government to alter the proposal so that the ageing Sydney Football Stadium would be rebuilt first.
Critics of the plan have questioned why the Olympic Stadium – at just 17 years old – needs complete demolition and rebuilding. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Luke Foley has slammed the Moore Park redevelopment as a “white elephant,” questioning the facility’s ability to draw a capacity crowd.
I’ve always said west before east because that’s where the people are. They will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a white elephant, on a stadium that won’t host grand finals, State of Origins, Bledisloe Cups or the biggest Socceroos qualifiers.
Why are we doing this? Is the Waratahs vs the Bulls in Super Rugby going to get 45,000 people? They struggle to get 10,000.
Reasonable point, TBH.
Regardless, the package – which includes money to redevelop Parramatta Stadium – is now set to go ahead, meaning disruptions for people in the area is imminent.
Ahh well, Sydney.