Limited funds for Sydney stadiums in NSW budget
New boutique Sydney sports stadiums were expected to feature heavily in the NSW budget, however just $3 million has been allocated, for a business case at one venue.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet revealed in Budget papers on Tuesday that $3 million will be put towards a business case for the construction of a new Jubilee Stadium at Kogarah Park.
After the NSW Government abandoned plans to proceed with the major $810 million redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, the priority has shifted to the construction of up to five boutique stadiums in suburban Sydney, part of a deal to ensure the NRL Grand Final continues to be played in Sydney.
Jubilee Stadium has been earmarked for the first project, followed by a new stadium at Liverpool, then Brookvale Oval and Panthers Stadium.
The St George Illawarra Dragons split their home games between Jubilee Stadium and WIN Stadium, while the Cronulla Sharks are resisting calls by the NRL to relocate to the stadium full-time, instead declaring their future remains at Shark Park. Sydney FC also play the majority of their games at Kogarah while the SFS is being rebuilt.
The Sharks instead wanted their home ground redeveloped, offering part-ownership of the land to the NRL, but that appears to have been knocked back, with the business case set to proceed for a new stadium at Kogarah.
It’s expected funding for a new stadium will appear in next year’s budget, along with a plan for the revitalisation of Sydney’s other suburban stadiums.
The new stadiums to replace the existing suburban grounds are anticipated to have capacities of around 20,000 and costed at $200 million each, with potentially one built per year, although it’s understood the NRL are keen for any program to be accelerated to capitalise on the need to kickstart the state’s economy.
Under the plan, Jubilee Stadium would be shared by the Dragons, Sharks and potentially Sydney FC, Liverpool Stadium by the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers, and Brookvale by the Sea Eagles and Union clubs Marlins and Rats.
But Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne says Inner West residents have been snubbed, accusing the government of directing funding to “favoured electorates”, with no funds directed to Leichhardt Oval or Campbelltown Stadium.
The 2020-21 NSW budget also includes a $100 million Greater Cities and Regional Sports Facility Fund to stimulate local economies, boost employment and promote healthy lifestyles across the state. The money will be used to improve community facilities across New South Wales.
While there won’t be any new stadium projects commencing in the near future, construction of the new Sydney Football Stadium at Moore Park continues, with the new world-class stadium set to open in 2022.
In recent days, the South Australian Government announced a cash splash of more than $200 million in its budget for a Sports and Recreation infrastructure plan, including $90 million for Hindmarsh Stadium and Memorial Drive, as well as upgrades at Priceline Stadium and Thebarton Oval.