Sydney Football Stadium builder locked in as costs blow out by $100m

Austadiums   |  Thursday 19th December 2019

The NSW Government has announced John Holland as the builder of the new Sydney Football Stadium, while revealing costs have blown out by $100 million.

This is despite a major feature of the new stadium excluded from the final construction plans. A LED curtain was proposed in initial plans to hide the top tier of seating to hide empty seats but will no longer be included, saving $46 million. All three tenant clubs –Sydney Roosters, Sydney FC and the NSW Waratahs – have averaged less than 15,000 in recent years. The rebuilt stadium will have a capacity of 45,000.

The government missed its deadline of November to appoint a new builder. This followed Lendlease walking away from the project after they demolished the Moore Park venue formerly known as Allianz Stadium, sighting they were unable to complete it within the budget allocated.

The cost blowout takes the total estimated cost for the new stadium to $828 million, which includes demolition, contingency and other associated project costs.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian believes the government made the right decision in re-tendering the construction stage of the project despite the cost blowout, and that the stadium would be complete in time for the 2022 NRL Grand Final.

The Chinese-owned John Holland Group, who has won the job over Multiplex, has operations across Australia, south-east Asia and New Zealand. It constructed the Great Southern Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the early 1990s.

In July, then Sports Minister John Sidoti (who stepped down from his role in September) noted he was "very confident" the project would be delivered on budget and on time despite retendering for the contract.

The stadium rebuild was a major issue in the March state election, with Labor and the Greens opposing the demolition.

Labor campaigned on a platform of "schools and hospitals before stadiums", with then leader Michael Daley claiming he would force the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, which manages the stadium, to take out a $644 million loan to proceed with the rebuild.

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