A $250 million upgrade is being planned for Sydney’s largest sporting arena, ANZ Stadium, featuring movable stands at the northern and southern ends and a retractable roof.
With Sydney’s sporting scene more vibrant than ever – nine NRL clubs, two A-League franchises, two Big Bash League teams, rugby’s Waratahs and AFL’s Swans and Giants – venue management are making sure they’re not left behind.
The SCG is undergoing a multi-million dollar redevelopment that will further entrench it as one of the world’s great sporting grounds.
But the blueprint for the Olympic venue’s future is the boldest.
ANZ Stadium management is developing a plan to have the northern and southern seating bowls slide in and out for a rectangular playing field that would brings fans to within 5m of the action from NRL, rugby union and football matches.
Capacity would be slightly reduced in the rectangular format, but still well over 75,000.
The masterplan includes:
- A rectractable see-through roof, the foundations of which are already in place;
- Steeper seating at the northern and southern ends that would be part of the movable stands. This, officials say, would enhance atmosphere and bring supporter groups closer to the action;
- Glass-fronted indoor bars and cafes on level two; and
- Working with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to create new precinct destinations on game-days, so fans can arrive earlier and stay later.
While there is no firm commitment to fund the project at this stage, it is understood the redevelopment could be jointly funded by government and private enterprise in partnership.
ANZ Stadium managing director Daryl Kerry said: “There has been a lot of discussion about stadiums in NSW in the wake of the government’s strategy policy, and we are fortunate to have a government prepared to talk about infrastructure.
“Thirteen years on from the Olympics, ANZ Stadium has a sporting calendar to rival any stadium in the world, so we are pursuing a redevelopment that will both drive the best economic outcomes for NSW and give fans the best possible multi-sports stadium.
“Sydney is the envy of the sporting world this year with a host of world-class events.
“July alone will feature a British & Irish Lions Test (July 6), a key Waratahs v Queensland Reds Super rugby clash (July 13), a potentially series-deciding Origin game (July 17), a visit by arguably the world’s most famous sporting club in Manchester United (July 20) and then two key NRL clashes – Rabbitohs v Dragons (July 22), and Bulldogs v Eels (July 26) to round out the month.”
This article originally published in the Daily Telegraph.