Cronulla returning to reduced-capacity Shark Park for 2022 NRL season
The Cronulla Sharks will return to their spiritual home next season, after two campaigns at Kogarah, although Shark Park will be at a reduced capacity.
The NRL club was forced to relocate for two seasons due to development works around their Sutherland Shire home ground, opting to play matches at the Dragons’ Jubilee Stadium.
While the Sharks’ home ground, known commercially as PointsBet Stadium, hasn’t had any redevelopment works done to it, its capacity will be reduced from 20,000 to just 12,000 for next season. The club averaged home crowds of 12,141 when they last played at the venue in 2019.
The adjoining Sharks Leagues Club is being given an $20 million makeover, with the venue currently shut. Covid has impacted the construction timeline of it, and the surrounding development, with completion now due for mid-2023.
The club has designed a spectator safe, albeit restricted precinct, that will allow them to host matches at the ground in 2022. Some bar and food outlets in the eastern and northern areas will be impacted by construction, with pop-up style solutions planned.
There will be a small improvement made to the eastern end of the stadium, with the edges of the family hill to be terraced to improve the grassed embankment for spectators.
The revamped Leagues Club will be the centrepiece of a new commercial-retail precinct at Woolooware which is set to boost revenue for the NRL club.
Once complete, the new Leagues Club will be located on the top two floors of the existing building, as well as half the basement level out to the ground. There will also be an alfresco deck overlooking Woolooware Bay, gaming area and chairman’s lounge, while the top floor will feature conference and function rooms.