An ambitious $500 million plan for a 27,000-seat stadium at Macquarie Park, central to Tasmania’s AFL bid, has been revealed.
Part of an effort to attract top sporting codes to the state of Tasmania, the ‘Tas Park’ masterplan has been developed by architect, and Hobart Brewing Company co-owner, Don Gallagher. The $500 million stadium complex is proposed for a largely vacant Macquarie Point waterfront site would also include a hotel, convention centre, restaurants and cafes.
However, the Government hasn’t showed their support for the proposal. While initially saying it had merit, a spokesman for the State Government said it would not be wavering from its Macquarie Point masterplan that does not incorporate a sports stadium.
Tas Park is designed to strengthen Tasmania’s bid for a stand-alone AFL team, an A-League football club and an NRL rugby league team while providing the city with a future hub for public transport infrastructure and year-round hotel accommodation.
A stadium at the Macquarie Point site as been cited by Tasmania’s AFL Taskforce, led by Virgin Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey, as potentially key in landing an AFL franchise. It is also said to be supported by some cricket officials keen to replicate the success of the Adelaide Oval's city centre location.
Advising that his design would also address concerns over the development of a large walled, traditional stadium at the site, Gallagher explained “traditional stadiums are like a walled fortress, whereas this concept is very flowing - it buries the buildings and creates a par.
“It’s landscape architecture more than built form. All vistas to the Cenotaph are kept.”
Gallagher stated the addition of a 181-room hotel and convention centre, inspired by the Hilton Garden Inn development at Emirates Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, would help fund much of the project, reducing the need for public expenditure. He added this part of the project has already garnered interest from investors keen to meet Hobart’s demand for tourist accommodation, noting “we’ve set up a list of firms and consultants that have all agreed to come on board."