Newcastle Stadium 2011 completion date

Austadiums   |  Tuesday 17th November 2009
Newcastle's EnergyAustralia Stadium works would be finished by February 2011 with no corners cut, the State Government pledged yesterday.

Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay and Sport and Recreation Minister Kevin Greene held a short ceremony at the stadium to mark the halfway point of work in the $66 million project.

Their pledge was welcomed by Newcastle Knights chairman Rob Tew.

"I'm delighted that the Government is saying that the stadium is going to be finished according to the original specifications and I am delighted that the work will be done by February, 2011," Mr Tew said.

"This gives us certainty to plan our season-ticket selling for 2011."

Relations between the State-owned Hunter Venues Authority, which manages the stadium, and the Newcastle Knights have been strained for the past year, with the Knights wanting $1 million in compensation for lost earnings and the authority seeking about $1.5 million in unpaid rent.

Fears had also been held about a cost increase on the western grandstand, with the venues authority confirming it might have to trim the design to meet the budget.

Neither minister would talk about the dispute or the detail of the grandstand contract but both said the Government was "absolutely committed" to the stadium.

"The new change rooms are among the best in Australia, incorporating warm-up and cool-down facilities, recovery baths, treatment rooms and referee facilities," Mr Greene said.

"In addition, this second stage has seen about 2000 new spectator seats installed in the lower western concourse and north-western corner of the stand."

Venues authority chairman Ted Atchison said about $20 million of a $66 million budget had been spent so far.

IAN KIRKWOOD
The Herald

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