WIN Stadium looks at options
The Wollongong Sports Ground Trust (WSGT) is examining the possibility of developing a multi-purpose grandstand at Win Stadium. Milton O'Brien, from the Trust, told On Sport that for some time they have been exploring ways of generating new income streams and that the idea of combining a hotel/retail type development with a much needed grandstand is an attractive option. He added that Wollongong has a shortage of premium hotel accommodation and is currently losing a significant amount of conference business to Sydney. He added that the venue's location next to the ocean and its close proximity to the Wollongong Entertainment Centre and the Steelers Leagues Club also makes a hotel type development attractive. In terms of dual purpose developments, the north grandstand at Win Stadium is attached to the Wollongong Entertainment Centre which all forms part of the Wollongong Sports Ground Trust management. Wollongong Entertainment Centre has a capacity of 6,000 and can host a range of sports, concerts and exhibitions. It is the home stadium of the Wollongong Hawks NBL club.
The proposed site is on the western site of the venue were an existing obsolete grandstand is situated. The stand is 25-30 years old and requires significant capital works to bring it back to current standards.
According to website Australian Stadiums (www.austadiums.com), the proposed $37 million development will include a four star hotel with 100 rooms, half of which will overlook the ground. There will also be meeting rooms, a gymnasium and a rooftop pool. The site said the proposal also includes four retail outlets at street level, construction of a pedestrian bridge linking the site to the adjacent Steelers Leagues Club and new player amenities in the southern grandstand. A 350-space car park will also be developed on the current training oval, with this to be situated on the top of the new car park. The trust believes that the new hotel project will provide new revenue streams in the order of $2.1 million per year and is expected to employ several hundred full-time and casual workers.
At this stage they have created a master plan for the development and have started to explore a range of financing options, including combinations of private and public funding. Initial plans are with the State Government and they hope to move the project to the next phase within six months.