Sunshine Coast Stadium fails to secure federal funding for expansion
The stage 1 expansion of Sunshine Coast Stadium will be delayed after the federal government failed to commit $20 million to the project.
In October last year, the stadium secured cross-party financial support from the State Government to the tune of $20 million, subject to the Commonwealth matching that figure, in addition to the council committing $17 million and local community philanthropists $11 million.
However, a further $20 million in funding was required from the federal government for the $68 million project to proceed, but the funding hasn’t been committed in the May Budget.
The stage one expansion was to boost the seating capacity of Sunshine Coast Stadium to over 11,500 and overall capacity to more than 16,500.
The venue became the temporary home away from home for the Melbourne Storm during the Covid-affected NRL season, hosting six home games, while the Sharks and Rabbitohs will each play a home game on the Sunshine Coast this year.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson expressed his disappointment at the federal government’s decision not to commit funding to the project.
“Obviously, we are incredibly disappointed at the decision by the Federal Government not to provide $20 million in its forthcoming Budget in May to contribute to the $68 million stage 1 expansion of the Sunshine Coast Stadium.”
“As a stimulus project, the Sunshine Coast Stadium expansion ticks all the boxes. More than 300 jobs would have been created during construction and over $25 million in ongoing annual economic benefits for the region.”
Work on the Sunshine Coast Stadium expansion will no longer commence later this year, as originally planned, with the project pushed back to when the $20 million funding gap is filled.
Jamieson said the Council was unable to fill the $20 million hole, having already contributed up to $50 million towards the development and maintenance of the Sunshine Coast Stadium complex to create the venue that it is today.