Mirvac and SCG in final play on new Hill stand

Austadiums   |  Thursday 7th October 2004


Mirvac Group and the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust are in final negotiations over plans to construct a new, 7000-seat $52million grandstand on the old "Hill" area of the SCG.

Building industry sources believe the plans include development of a number of serviced suites, to be managed in a similar fashion to the corporate boxes already available at the ground.

Such a plan would represent a partial revival of a five-year-old scheme to build a 338-room, 3 1/2 star hotel at the new grandstand.

In 2000, it was reported that both Mirvac and Accor Asia Pacific had been shortlisted for the project, with Mirvac the frontrunner. Both Mirvac and the SCG Trust declined to comment.

The trust has a long-standing masterplan in place for the development of the SCG, but the internal document was described as "commercial-in-confidence" by a spokesman for the trust yesterday.

Last week, SCG Trust chief executive Jamie Barclay told The Australian that construction of the new grandstand would involve demolishing the existing Doug Walters stand with its 4500 outdoor seats and replacing it with 7000 premium seats.

There would be a minor increase in the ground's capacity to 46,000.

Mr Barclay said construction of the new grandstand would begin next year.

"The grandstand plugs the final hole and completes the concourse around the ground and it will increase seating capacity to where it should be. We are not looking to increase capacity, we are just interested in increasing the quality of the experience."

A development application has yet to be lodged with Sydney City Council, the consent authority for the site.

The trust is competing with Telstra Stadium for the right to hold international cricketing events over the next five to 10 years, after Cricket NSW announced a surprise tender in July.

The move to put the rights to tender has proved divisive with supporters of the historic ground including Kerry Packer, Alan Jones, Rod McGeogh, and former test cricketer Geoff Lawson.

Supporters of the move to the 81,500-seat Telstra Stadium, including former test captain Mark Taylor, argue it would draw bigger crowds from western Sydney.

Cricket NSW is expected to announce its decision within weeks.

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