New super-agency to run NSW stadiums following merger
The NSW Government has announced it’ll merge Venues NSW and the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust to create a single organisation to manage all NSW stadiums.
The merger means every major venue in New South Wales will be operated by one entity and the Government says the move will help attract blockbuster events and drive economic activity across the State.
Venues NSW is the owner, coordinator and promoter of publicly owned venues including ANZ Stadium, Bankwest Stadium, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle Entertainment Centre, WIN Stadium and the WIN Entertainment Centre. The SCG Trust is responsible for the Sydney Cricket Ground and the under-construction Sydney Football Stadium.
Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the new yet-to-be-named entity presents tremendous opportunities for the people of NSW to ensure taxpayers receive maximum bang for their buck.
“This merger is about placing NSW in the best possible position to attract the most exciting and sought-after events so the entire State can benefit from the economic stimulation,” Mr Lee said.
“We have made the investment in stadiums and infrastructure which are the envy of the world and now it’s time to ensure we get maximum returns.”
“NSW is often competing nationally and internationally to attract major sporting events, concerts and other outdoor activities to our venues. A strong, co-ordinated and streamlined approach to attracting these major events will put our State in the best position to win them and reap the economic benefits.”
An Interim Advisory Board will be established to oversee the development of the operating model for the new entity and will include long standing board members of the SCGT and Venues NSW.
Mr Tony Shepherd AO will be the Chair of the new entity while Sydney Olympics mastermind and current SCG Trust Deputy Chair Rod McGeoch will continue in the same role.
"When we have the new Sydney Football Stadium, as well as ANZ and Bankwest at Parramatta, we will have the best stadiums in the country and this will put us in a strong position to bid for international tournaments in men and women's sport," Mr Shepherd said.
He said this could include the 2027 Rugby World Cup as well as major concerts.
The press release said “All Venues NSW and SCGT contracts, agreements and membership entitlements with sporting codes, clubs, partners and members will continue to be honoured and preserved by the merged entity.”
The merger comes after the Berejiklian government last month abandoned plans to redevelop ANZ Stadium and will redirect the $800 million saving to a new $3 billion infrastructure and job fund.
Labor's sports spokeswoman Lynda Voltz said the merger was “too little, too late”.
She said the Berejiklian government had ignored a key finding in a 2015 report into Sydney's sporting venues by former NSW Liberal leader John Brodgen.
“The Brogden report recommended [a super trust] be the first step in the stadium strategy, which would underpin Mike Baird's announcement that ANZ Stadium be the first to be redeveloped,” Ms Voltz said.
“The failure to put the SCG Trust in Venues NSW from the beginning has led to the outcome we have today which is ANZ Stadium is not being redeveloped and the Sydney Football Stadium is.”