Redevelopment

A futuristic stadium

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust is excited to take the first steps forward in a
comprehensive action plan for the rebuild of Allianz Stadium.

The NSW Government is redeveloping Allianz Stadium into a modern, world class venue, to ensure Sydney has a sporting and entertainment precinct of international standard and that NSW remains the number one choice for sporting and entertainment events in Australia.

The project will build on the legacy of the Sydney Sports Ground (1899) and the original SFS, opened as a Bicentennial Project in 1988. Click here for detail on the relocation of the UTS Stadium Club.

The SFS is now the oldest top-tier rectangular stadium in Australia, with significant safety, compliance and patron safety issues, together with insufficient female toilets and inadequate provision for disability access. 

To address these issues, the NSW Government will rebuild the venue into a 40,000 to 45,000 seat rectangular stadium with substantially improved sightlines, a roof that covers all patrons, with vastly improved amenities, food and beverage options and accessibility.

Work is expected to commence in late 2018 and be completed by early 2022. Infrastructure NSW has commenced its public consultation and you can visit the project website to find out more: https://yoursay.sfsredevelopment.insw.com 

 

What to expect

What to expect

  • The Sydney sporting public will have a new entertainment icon on the doorstep of the CBD, one that is easier to get and easier to get home from.
  • New public transport initiatives including the CBD and South East Light Rail line (operating in 2019) will offer fans easy delivery to and from the precinct.
  • The SFS redevelopment will celebrate the cultural heritage and the historical surrounds that have made the SCG precinct a pilgrimage for sporting fans, officials and athletes since the 1850s.
  • State-of-the-art facilities will position the SFS as a global leader in game-day experiences for all patrons and future proof the precinct, delivering Sydney’s sporting public the best in field facilities.
  • One of the SCG precinct’s great features is that it is situated in a unique parkland environment – a key goal of the SFS will be to bring the parkland into the precinct by providing a soft, green edge to the stadium.

Benefits of the SFS

Benefits of the SFS

Exceptional spectator facilities that will improve the match day experience for all patrons who come to enjoy our events.  

World-renowned sporting events, high level corporate sponsorship, a massive injection of tourism dollars, a surrounding local business boom and of course more jobs.

Infrastructure NSW has summarised the Final Business Case for the development of the SFS at Moore Park.

The Business Case considered three options for the redevelopment of the SFS, against a "do minimum” Base Case. The three options include (1) refurbishment of the existing stadium, (2) “new build” with 40,000 seats, and (3) “new build” with 45,000 seats.

In summary, the Business Case clearly demonstrates that rebuilding the SFS, with either 40,000 or 45,000 seats is a better option than refurbishing the existing venue. The quantifiable economic benefits of a new stadium fall slightly short of the economic costs.

However, the unsustainable nature of the alternative to do only enough work to keep the stadium open, suggests that rebuilding is an acceptable option. Click here to view it in full.

Contractor appointed

Contractor appointed

A world-class stadium is one step closer with Lendlease announced as the construction contractor for the Allianz Stadium redevelopment.

NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said reaching this major milestone has paved the way for the redevelopment to commence in January 2019.

“NSW deserves the best stadiums and the new Sydney Football Stadium will make us number one again,” Mr Ayres said.

“NSW needs it, we’re delivering it. It’s time to get it done.

“This stadium will set a new standard for fan experience in Australia. It will kick Melbourne to the kerb and punt Brisbane to reserve grade.”

The new Sydney Football Stadium will be a nationally and globally competitive venue, ensuring that Sydney remains a preferred destination for major local and international events.

“The redevelopment also presents an opportunity to realign our recreational facilities with the demands and aspirations of today’s members,” said SCG Trust CEO Kerrie Mather.

“We will continue to involve members thoroughly in the process to ensure we get the best result for them as well as future generations.”

The project will create more than 600 construction jobs and support around 300 jobs once operational. The stadium is expected to be complete in early 2022.

Have your say

Have your say

Infrastructure NSW is committed to extensive community engagement throughout the planning process, and is currently seeking feedback to inform the Environmental Impact Statement to support both stages of the development application.

To register your interest in upcoming engagement events and for further information:

EIS Submission

EIS Submission

I write on behalf of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust to strongly support the redevelopment proposal for the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS).

The plan to demolish and rebuild a new Sydney Football Stadium is the only sensible and prudent use of public money. I congratulate the Berejiklian Government for embarking on long overdue upgrades of Sydney’s rectangular sporting venues Western Sydney Stadium, Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium, a small but important part of the massive infrastructure investment currently under way in Sydney. 

The policy decision will revolutionise the live sport and entertainment experience in our city, attracting new events and making our current events even better. 

Further, it will make attending the venues easier and more attractive for the many millions of sporting fans in Sydney, NSW and beyond.

The current SFS was designed for a different era of 3pm kick-offs, amateur footy players, BYO alcohol and no expectation that women would attend.

The SFS redevelopment is the only option to rectify those issues and the SCG Trust is fully supportive of a new stadium at Moore Park of up to 45,000 seats that includes:

  • Improved facilities for patrons, players, media and officials;
  • A roof with 100 per cent coverage of the seating bowl over all permanent seats, keeping the weather out and the atmosphere and noise inside the stadium;
  • A range of general admission seating, member areas, premium corporate box/terrace, function/lounge and corporate suite options;
  • Improved sports lighting, stadium video screens and other event-focused technology;
  • More and improved food and beverage options;
  • More and improved accessible seating options and other spectator facilities;
  • Provision for ancillary uses within the stadium and surrounds; and
  • Vastly improved safety and security measures, as well as game day protocols to reflect the current and future requirements of sporting and entertainment events in Sydney.

OUR HOME OF SPORT

At 1.45pm on Saturday, October 3, 1903 the State Minister for Works Edward O’Sullivan and then NSW Governor Harry Rawson officially opened Sydney’s newest sporting venue. 

The Sydney Sports Ground boasted the “finest bicycle track in the world” as well as seating for 6000 spectators and room for 20,000 more on the hill surrounding the playing field.

One of Sydney’s early newspapers, The Newsletter, gushed about the new venue.

 “Some two years ago, the ground was a fetid refuse tip that grated upon one’s olfactory nerves if you approached within a mile of it,” the paper’s anonymous correspondent wrote.

“The ground now contains the best bicycle track in the world … nearly 300,000 loads of earth have been put in the ground to form the football and cricket oval, the lawn and hill.

“Great credit is due to the trustees for the work in converting the ground into such a valuable state asset.”

The final line of The Sunday Times’ preview of the opening event has some resonance today with the newspaper’s reporter advising readers: “Tramway authorities are running special trams to the ground every few minutes”.

From that first day, the Sydney Sports Ground became a sporting focal point of the city, providing the stage for champions from all sports. Nowhere else in the world could a single venue claim to have seen the likes of Betty Cuthbert, Arthur Beetson, Pele and Jack Brabham display their individual skills on the same patch of turf.

The 1988 opening of the Sydney Football Stadium with an Australia Day gala concert was altogether different.

A crowd of 20,000 turned drawn by an opening lineup that included legendary US performer John Denver, alongside superstar Australian bands Air Supply, the Eurogliders and Dragon.

This time, it was then premier Barrie Unsworth who declared the $62m venue ‘open’ and a new era in live sport began.

The Sydney Football Stadium took its name after intense lobbying by then Trustee and Australian Soccer Federation life member Jim Bayutti – a move that foreshadowed the round ball game’s future long before the old soccer/new football transformation led by Frank Lowy.

As good as the new SFS was back in 1988, some flaws were easy to see from day one, with Rugby League Week’s report of the first league match observing: “The driving rain saturated almost half of all the seating, even though the stadium’s architects insisted 75 per cent of spectators would be covered.

Add in today’s concerns of compliance to modern building and safety standards and it is easy to see why we fully support the NSW Government’s decision to demolish the current SFS and deliver a world-class replacement. 

As Trustees with responsibility to our members, patrons and the people of NSW, we had no option but to support and encourage the Government in its plan to rebuild the SFS. 

Even though the Trust has spent well over $80m maintaining and upgrading the SFS since it opened, there are some problems that are simply impossible to fix.

In the current structure, there can never be enough seats for wheelchair users, female bathrooms, emergency exit doors and countless other things to make it compliant with modern standards and expectations. To retrofit is as expensive as a rebuild and to keep operating it, without major capital investment, is irresponsible in the extreme.

In this day and age, it is not right to exclude any member of the public from the enjoyment of sport or entertainment because of outdated and inadequate facilities.

The SFS has a conditional certificate of occupancy that expires in 2019 and mandates how it can be operated safely. We intend to do that right up until the final event later this year.

The future holds better outcomes for all users of the stadium, better facilities for the sports including the growing elite women’s teams, more and better facilities and seats for the general public and members.

NEIGHBOURHOOD

The new SFS will be the third such venue adjacent to the SCG. Any resident, business or other stakeholder that moved near the SCG precinct did so long after the sporting venues that had been established. They did so knowing that major events took place at the ground on a regular basis, major events that would attract many thousands of visitors from other parts of Sydney and beyond.

Indeed, it could be argued that today’s residents have it easier in comparison to their forebears or predecessors of years ago.

The SCG’s record attendance was set for the 1965 NSW Rugby League Grand Final between the St George Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs. The official announced crowd as the Dragons won their 10th straight grand final was 78,056 but, given countless thousands are said to have climbed over the fence from the RAS Showground, it is thought to be closer to the 100,000 mark.

On the very same day, there was an automobile show at the RAS Showground and a grand final of rugby union’s Shute Shield at the Sydney Sports Ground, putting the precinct’s combined attendance at well over 130,000 – far greater than anything that would be experienced today.

South Sydney great John Sattler still remembers being stuck in a traffic jam en route to the ground, driving up onto a median strip and getting out of his car and walking to the ground for fear of missing the kick off. He tells of fighting his way through a sea of people who had been turned around at the gates when the ground was declared full. 

The parked cars that day filled the entirety of Moore Park East and Moore Park West across the other side of Anzac Parade, somewhat in contrast to today’s practice.

Importantly, the EIS process run by Infrastructure NSW has provided new data on the travel patterns for the fans of differing sports that call the SCG precinct home. The data backs up the Trust’s and its sports partners’ learnings about the travel habits of visitors to the precinct. This deeper knowledge can allow for better traffic and transport planning for events at the SCG and SFS, as well as better management of the impact of parking on surrounding streets. 

A PLACE FOR ALL

Listen to the critics and the SCG Trust is a place for the top end of town, the wealthy elites of our city. Nothing could be further from the truth. Membership of our grounds is the most egalitarian of processes. Pay your $50 joining fee, get on the waiting list and 13 years later you’ll be admitted as a full member. 

That is why the members of the SCG are spread to just about every postcode of Australia, and to all corners of the globe. SCG members have funded sport in Sydney for decades, providing venues that are open to anyone who can get their hands on a ticket.

The SFS’s gold members pay a larger joining fee, a practice established in the mid 1980s when the new stadium was first contemplated. The joining fees, then $2000 against today’s $11,000, allowed the SCG Trust to fully fund the construction of the Sydney Football Stadium. The NSW taxpayer did not contribute a single cent to the construction of what is a public facility on public land.

The stadium members have paid their annual dues for the past three decades, allowing the SCG Trust to operate Allianz Stadium without any recurring or one-off contributions of taxpayers’ money from the NSW Government. Their loyalty to the SCG Trust gifted Sydney what soon became the busiest dedicated rectangular venue in Australia.

Critics of the NSW Government Stadia Strategy also falsely claim that the SFS is used only by residents from the eastern suburbs and lower north shore.

In 2016 the Trust commissioned Repucom to undertake a survey of where Sydney sports fans reside and their access to Sydney’s major stadiums. The study is based on 10,000 Australians and tracked their interest in rugby league, rugby union, Australian Rules football and football (soccer).

The study split Sydney into four regions and the below table shows where sporting fans live:

Region

Fans

Percentage of fans

South & West

1,133,000

23%

West

1,359,300

23%

North

770,500

15%

Central

1,736,000

35%

Total

4,998,800

 

The study went into further detail of how many fans actually attended sporting events from each region and which code they attended as below:

Code

South West

West

North

Central

NRL

189,182

234,716

113,036

285,915

Rugby

51,507

49,399

57,152

176,892

AFL

90,141

93,885

74,512

227,745

Football

63,213

95,590

57,402

182,239

 

394,043

473,590

302,102

872,791

Again, the highest number of attendees was from the Central and West regions – a total of 62 per cent of all patrons. 

The study went into more detail about where fans came from that attended Sydney’s two major stadia, the SFS at Moore Park and ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park. This question was asked during the winter football season. 

Region

Allianz

ANZ

South & West

179,910

198,633

West

293,816

272,549

North

102,673

102,900

Central

424,429

408,265

Total

1,000,828

982,347

Interestingly this research showed that more sporting fans attended Allianz Stadium at Moore Park than ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park. It is also worth noting this survey did not consider attendance at the SCG nor Sydney Swans home matches, which would further boost the numbers in the SCG precinct. 

Again, it showed that more fans from Western Sydney and the Central region attended Allianz Stadium.

Sydney deserves a stadium for everyone and the SFS redevelopment will ensure a world-class facility, which can attract the best major events and give the sporting public a facility they deserve and of which they can be proud. Melbourne, arguably our main rival for major events, has the MCG at 100,000, Etihad Stadium at 56,000 and AAMI Park Stadium at 30,000. The Victorian Government will redevelop both the MCG

(redeveloped completely since 1996) and Etihad (which only opened in 2000) to ensure they retain the AFL Grand Final for the next 40 years. 

The new Sydney Football Stadium will have far better facilities for the general public, facilities that have never been available to fans of the rectangular codes at purpose-built grounds. The original SFS was the first of its kind in Australia, and before its time, but now outdated and past its use-by date.

Economic activity generated by events at the SFS and SCG, and the location of multiple sports administration and high performance headquarters, medical facilities and a university campus in the SCG precinct is estimated at more than $900m in direct and indirect benefits as estimated by independent experts. That study is available as part of NSW Legislative Council’s standing order 52. 

MORE PARK FOR MOORE PARK

The SFS Redevelopment will take place entirely on SCG Trust land. The site compound will be contained to the Trust’s car park (MP1). There will be no impact or encroachment on the adjacent parklands.

The 1988 opening of the Sydney Football Stadium allowed the SCG Trust to return half a hectare of parkland to Moore Park East. This was the first and only time that the land of the Sydney Common has increased since it was set aside in 1811 as part of Governor Macquarie’s bequest.

The current SFS redevelopment has the potential to make more public open space available to nearby residents by removing the ‘black gates’ that surround the SCG precinct. These black gates are necessary to provide a secure perimeter for the precinct and the venues. 

The goal, as defined by SCG Trust precinct master plans dating back to 2011, is to bring down the barriers and open up the precinct by allowing pedestrian access through the area. Today’s need is even more pressing with the NSW Government’s worthy investment in the CBD and South East Light Rail line. As part of the SFS Redevelopment, the SCG precinct will no longer be a large walled off area that must be walked around to get to Moore Park. This will be an important improvement for the SFS’s closest neighbours in Paddington.

ON-GRASS PARKING

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust is responsible for the removal of car parking from Moore Park East, adjacent to the SFS and SCG. The SCG Trust fully funded the construction of the Sydney Swans and Sydney Roosters training fields, thereby removing thousands of parking spots used by visitors to the precinct. Prior to being developed as a shared community and elite training field, the Roosters field was a gravel pit.

The SCG Trust is supportive of the Parklands Trust’s long-term plans to provide more community and elite playing fields in Moore Park East and Moore Park West.

The SCG Trust is also supportive of the Parklands Trust’s long-term plans to provide a dispersed parking solution for the broader precinct.

It should be noted that on relevant event days, the SCG Trust operates the two car parks in Moore Park on behalf of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust. The Parklands Trust earns a significant amount of its annual revenue from event-related on-grass parking in Moore Park East. Similarly, the Parklands Trust allows the lands to be used on other days, not related to events at the SCG and SFS, for the parking and pooling of Transport for NSW buses, large film shoots and other activities unrelated to the sporting venues.

It is worth noting that the SCG Trust has made submissions as part of the Metro West industry engagement process for the NSW Government to consider extending the proposed line to the SCG precinct.

While we agree the Light Rail will make a significant contribution to movement of patrons in and out of the precinct, a stop on the new Metro West line would be a step-change in transport and access. This would make a significant contribution to a car-free precinct. Further, an SCG/SFS stop would link directly to the proposed stop at Zetland, providing the easiest of access for the rapidly growing residential population of Green Square.

ARCHITECTURAL MERIT

The Sydney Football Stadium is, quite rightly, an award-winning building. The stadium’s author, Philip Cox says: “Any replacement of the iconic Sydney Football Stadium, which is recognised as one of Australia’s outstanding examples of 20th century architecture, should be of equal or greater merit than the original.” The firm that bears Mr Cox’s name, Cox Architecture, will design the new Sydney Football Stadium in consultation with him ensuring that the SFS’s architectural legacy lives on. 

TREES

The sole tree that appears on the City of Sydney Register of Significant Trees on SCG Trust land will be preserved as part of the SFS redevelopment. Tree 125, which is adjacent to the SFS on Moore Park Road, is an outstanding Moreton Bay Fig with impressive sculptural form and a wide spreading canopy. It is the only tree within the SFS site that is considered of very high landscape significance. 

Of the 126 trees on the SFS site identified as part of the EIS process, 100 will be retained. Of the 26 proposed for removal, only one falls into the independently-assessed category of ‘priority for retention’. Eleven are recommended for removal, while the remainder are not deemed a priority for retention. All trees to be removed were planted after the 1988 opening of the SFS.

The broader SFS redevelopment offers the chance to considerably increase the tree canopy cover of the SCG precinct. The opportunity for new plantings will form an important part of the Design Excellence process for detailed design, which will result in far better amenity than currently exists. 

DRIVER AVE

On the matter of Driver Avenue, the Parklands Trust takes direction on its closure on game day from the NSW Police. We note that the Centennial and Moore Park Trust Masterplan 2040 calls for the permanent pedestrianisation of this road. This is not a matter for the SCG Trust as it is falls within the responsibility of the neighbouring Parklands Trust.  

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust operates the SFS and SCG on behalf of the people of NSW. We exist to serve the glory of sport and provide the stages for the superstars of their day to thrill their fans. More than that, the Trust provides a readily accessible precinct for friends and family to socialise – a tradition that stretches back through generations of Sydneysiders. 

The SCG is a foundation site for sport in our country, a patch of land that was transformed by British soldiers into one of the most loved and recognisable sporting venues in the world. 

The Berejiklian Government’s goal is just as bold, providing modern, comfortable and safe venues around the city for fans, players and officials of the rectangular codes. The SFS redevelopment will deliver a world-class new home for some of our most revered national teams, such as the Matildas, Kangaroos, Jillaroos, Wallabies, Wallaroos and Socceroos. 

I commend you for overseeing a transparent planning approval process for the Sydney Football Stadium redevelopment. It is a vitally important public facility that will make our great city an even better place.

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