The circus around the Sydney Football Stadium rebuild continues with the Land and Environment Court stopping the hard-demolition works of the venue.
While the soft-demolition of the stadium has been ongoing with the majority of the 45,000 seats already ripped out, the next two weeks was meant to see the stadium roof, expansion joints and access stairs removed, however that now must wait until at least March 8.
The $730 million plan to knock down the existing stadium and replace it with a brand-new 40,000-seat world-class stadium follows a NSW Government claim in 2017 the state’s sporting infrastructure was falling behind the rest of the country.
The community group Local Democracy Matters and Waverley Council launched the legal challenge, claiming the planning process was flawed. Their lawyers said the NSW Government did not adhere to its own rules around public consultation and design excellence requirements.
It follows much public criticism about the Government’s decision to rebuild the 30-year-old stadium and redevelop ANZ Stadium.
Infrastructure NSW has warned delays in the demolition would cost its client $46,000 a day and threatened the completion date of June 30, 2020.
Meanwhile, Sydney’s suburban grounds have hit the headlines again, with Brookvale Oval and Jubilee Stadium suffering from poor playing surfaces forcing NRL trial games to be relocated on the weekend.
The Sea Eagles moved their trial match to Shark Park while the Dragons were forced to relocate to theirs to WIN Stadium in Wollongong, both at late notice.
On the Northern Beaches, Brookvale Oval recently hosted the NSW Waratahs season-opener however Sydney FC have relocated this weekend’s one-off A-League match scheduled for the venue to Leichhardt Oval due to the poor playing surface. It places the first Sea Eagles NRL home game of the season in round 2 against the Roosters in doubt.
Jubilee Stadium has had an increased workload this summer, with Sydney FC playing the majority of their home games at the venue while Allianz Stadium is out of action. It also recently hosted the W-League Grand Final with some players speaking out about the playing surface. Football Australia has now been forced to move the Cup of Nations tournament opener on Thursday between the Matilda’s and New Zealand to Leichhardt Oval.
The Dragons round 2 home opener against the Knights is in doubt and may also need to be relocated to WIN Stadium. Georges River Council took over management of the venue in recent years and have also come under fire for selling its naming-rights for just $81,000 per year, with the official name now Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.