Upgrade for Newcastle No.1 Sportsground

Austadiums   |  Tuesday 26th May 2020

The Newcastle No.1 Sportsground is set to receive a multi-million-dollar redevelopment to commence in September this year.

The upgrade is expected to deliver a major economic boost for the city as the works, which will include an increase to the field size and additional seating, will ensure the ground is capable of hosting pre-season AFL matches and larger cricket fixtures in the heart of Newcastle.

As well as an increase in the size of the playing surface, improvements will be made to the drainage, irrigation, sub soil material and the turf.

A new perimeter fence will also be installed with new access gates, and the ground’s lighting will also be upgraded (to 750-lux) to support elite level sport.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes advised “this important redevelopment will now give our City the opportunity to extend our sporting reach on the main stage beyond NRL, Super Rugby and Supercars to also include elite-level cricket and AFL.

“No.1 Sportsground has not seen a significant redevelopment such as this since it was constructed in 1922. The upgrades include an upsized playing field, seven new cricket wickets, a new sight screen and an additional 390 new seats.

“Not only will our investment in this project attract top-class sporting codes, it will also benefit those playing at regional and grassroots levels who use No.1 Sportsground year-in, year-out.”

City of Newcastle is now inviting tenders for the multi-million reconstruction of the ground, expected to take up to 12 months to complete.

Plans to relocate clubs affected by the ground’s closure throughout the 2020/21 summer and 2021 winter sporting seasons have already been prearranged.

Cricket NSW Chief Executive, Lee Germon welcomed the upgrade and said it was a step in the right direction for both regional and high-level cricket codes.

Germon noted “we have received advice from Council on their plans to upgrade the playing surface of No. 1 Sportsground and are pleased they intend to upgrade it to a top tier standard.

“It should provide excellent quality for Newcastle cricketers and is an important step towards meeting the required standards for high level cricket.”

Newcastle Cricket District Association Chairman, Paul Marjoribanks said the renovations would help meet the day-night scheduling demands of the modern cricket era.

Marjoribanks added “the proposed upgrades will provide significant benefits to both local and regional cricket and also give Newcastle the opportunity to again host first-class cricket matches.

“In particular the upgrades to the lighting will allow cricket to be played at night – which will bring it into line with modern-day cricket scheduling.”

Bleacher-style seating will be installed, which will almost double the seating capacity of the ground from 400 to 790 people.

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