AFL

Concepts for proposed Darwin City Stadium revealed

Austadiums | Sunday 23rd May 2021
One of the two concept designs for the proposed Darwin Stadium

Two concept designs have been revealed for the ambitious $300 million Darwin City Stadium project, with industry leaders welcoming the proposal.

It’s hoped the new stadium will be up and running within a decade, to coincide with Brisbane’s bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

Project co-ordinator and AFLNT chairman Sean Bowden is working with a range of architects, structural engineers and designers to put plans in place for the 25,000-seat covered stadium in Darwin’s CBD.

“We’ve put together a high-level design team made up of national recognised architects and engineers,’’ Bowden said.

“We’ve been working carefully to develop the concept and build it to the point where we can present it to the public for consideration.

“From that we’ll get feedback from the start of what will be a detailed consultation process.’’

NT News reported that the list of non-charging organisations involved in the design and construction process are Studio Nield, Coordinating Architects, headed by Lawrence Neild, the former Chief Architect of the Northern Territory who has been involved in master planning a number of major projects, including for the Sydney Olympics, Stadium Australia and Marvel Stadium.

Local companies Troppo Architects, professor Max Irvine Structural Engineers, Rider Levett Bucknall Quantity Surveyors, Taylor Cullity Lethlean Landscape Architects, BVN Architects and Pricewaterhouse Coopers are other major contributors.

AFLNT’s plans for a new stadium were initially revealed in January, with the multi-sport stadium built on the old Shell fuel depot on the intersection of Garramilla Boulevard and McMinn Street, becoming the centrepiece of the city skyline. At the time, it said future designs would be based on Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Officials believe a new covered stadium is required to attract international sporting events and major concerts, and does not want Darwin to get left behind regional centres like Townsville, Cairns and even Rockhampton, who have, or are planning to build new stadiums.

TIO Stadium is the current home of footy in Darwin, located about 11km from the heart of the city within the Marrara sporting precinct. Opened in 1991, the 12,500-capacity venue currently hosts one AFL game and one NRL game per season – with the Gold Coast Suns and Parramatta Eels having agreements with the NT Government to play home games at the venue.

Northern Territory industry leaders have welcomed the proposal, saying it could be a ‘game changer’ for the area.

Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce said the stadium would create a major boost for Darwin city bars and restaurants.

“This stadium would allow us to host major sporting events that attract thousands of interstate fans,” he said.

NT Chamber of Commerce chief operating officer Nicole Walsh said the project would have long-term economic and social benefits for the Territory.

“There would be positive economic impacts and the Chamber would like to see strategies going forward around environmental and social benefits to the community over the coming 20, 30 or 40 years,” she said.

However, City of Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis had reservations about the project, saying the money could be better spent elsewhere.

“My personal opinion is we’ve got a very good stadium in Marrara,” he said.

“Why not upgrade Marrara instead of building another stadium and making Marrara a ghost area?”

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Two concept designs have been revealed for the ambitious $300 million Darwin City Stadium project, with industry leaders welcoming the proposal.
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