Report suggests WIN Entertainment Centre isn't up to standard

Austadiums   |  Tuesday 5th May 2020

The Illawarra region of New South Wales has reportedly been missing out on hosting major indoor sports and entertainment events because of a lack of investment in Wollongong’s WIN Entertainment Centre.

Documents obtained by Wollongong MP Paul Scully and published by the Illawarra Mercury have revealed that the NSW Government has ignored strong community and stakeholder support for a refurbishment of the indoor venue.

Opened in September 1998, the WIN Entertainment Centre is home of the NBL team Illawarra Hawks and can accommodate up to 6,000 spectators, but has had little investment since its opening.

As a result, the newspaper claims that events with more than 1000 participants are being turned away as it has been described as “not fit for purpose” for major indoor sport  and entertainment events because of a lack of investment in the Wollongong venue.

The Illawarra Mercury, the Wollongong Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery and Scully have previously highlighted the severe lack of upkeep and reinvestment in the regional facility, which is now over two decades old.

In February this year, a nationally-televised NBL game between the Hawks and Breakers at the venue had to be abandoned due to a leak in the venue’s roof amid farcical scenes.

Documents accessed by Mr Scully have revealed not only the WEC's current condition is meaning the region is missing out on significant events, but also that Venues NSW, the NSW Government's venue operator, has also called for action on the venue.

Venues NSW is reported to be seeking $3.5 million from the NSW Government to develop a full masterplan and business case, which has not progressed beyond initial stakeholder engagement which was done with an array of parties last year.

Scully told the Illawarra Mercury “these documents make the case for an upgrade of the now 21-year old WEC facility crystal clear.”

“The Premier must now explain why she is so intent on continuing to reject the strong community support the upgrade has, including from the very statutory authority, Venues NSW, which owns the WEC and is pleading for her to get her chequebook out.”

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