NSW Government Cancels ANZ Stadium Redevelopment
1st June 2020
The NSW government has scrapped plans to refurbish ANZ Stadium and will instead redirect the more than $810 million earmarked for the project to support other job creation and protection actions. It is the most high-profile and costly public works activity to be cancelled in direct response to the economic damage of the shutdown thus far. The overhaul was intended to transform the 85,000-seat cricket oval into a more flexible 70,000-seat multipurpose arena. The money intended for the stadium will now be siphoned into a new $3 billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund.
NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the decision is in response to the widespread loss of jobs in the state due to the COVID-19 induced economic devastation. "We are now not only guaranteeing our infrastructure pipeline, we will be looking for opportunities to fast-track projects to provide jobs as early as we can," Berejiklian said. It was not announced which projects the $800 million from ANZ Stadium would be put towards, however the state government said it was focused on creating jobs in the wake of recovery from drought, bushfires, and COVID-19."
NSW deputy premier, John Barilaro, said the ANZ Stadium project was no longer possible due to the health and economic consequences of the current pandemic. "The communities of NSW have been through an incredibly tough period with continued drought, horrific bushfires and now Covid-19 and the best path to recovery is creating jobs," Barilaro said. "An unprecedented crisis calls for an unprecedented recovery and redirecting funding from Stadium Australia to job-creating infrastructure builds is the right thing to do for the people of NSW."
SCG Trust and Venues NSW merger
23rd June 2020
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, who is also on the AFL GWS board, 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.
Rabbitohs return to ANZ Stadium from Round 13
16th July 2020
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will return home to ANZ Stadium from round 13 onwards giving the Rabbitohs five home games at their home ground in the lead up to the 2020 Finals Series. The Rabbitohs will play their round ten home game at Bankwest Stadium before returning to their home ground at ANZ Stadium from round 13 which will see them play home games against the Broncos in round 13, Sea Eagles in round 15, Storm in round 17, Bulldogs in round 19 and the Roosters in round 20. Reduced capacities at grounds due to biosecurity measures will currently see up to 10,000 Rabbitohs Members and supporters welcomed back to ANZ Stadium from round 13, whereas only 7,500 patrons can be accommodated at Bankwest Stadium. The Rabbitohs will not be taking home games to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and Central Coast of New South Wales in 2020 as was originally planned before COVID-19 restrictions came into place. The Rabbitohs were planning on taking home games to Bankwest Stadium for the remainder of the 2020 season, however now that the NSW government has made the decision to cancel the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, the Rabbitohs will be able to return to their home base for the remainder of this season.
Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, said: "It will be fantastic to return home for the rest of this year. It is familiar surroundings at ANZ Stadium for not only our team, but for our Members, corporate partners and supporters as well. We would like to thank Daryl Kerry and his team at VenuesLive as well as Venues NSW for helping us return home to ANZ Stadium where we can accommodate thousands more of our Members and supporters at each game. We also hope that venue capacity restrictions will continue to lift in coming months to help us attract bigger crowds for our important late-in-season matches against the Storm, Bulldogs and Roosters, teams against which we have had great rivalries in recent years. This now means that our full season Ticketed Members will have the opportunity to attend 12 games in Sydney, including ten home games and two reciprocal rights away games, throughout this shortened season of 20 matches. We will be communicating with our Members and supporters regularly about accessing seating for these games and we are looking forward to returning home for the back end of the 2020 regular season."
Rabbitohs to remain at ANZ Stadium for 2021 and 2022
1st October 2020
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will continue to call ANZ Stadium home for the 2021 and 2022 seasons following feedback from the Club’s Members. The Rabbitohs will play nine home games each season at ANZ Stadium (pending a 12 home game, 12 away game season), a venue which the Rabbitohs have called home since 2006. As in previous years and in addition to the nine games at ANZ Stadium each year, the Rabbitohs will take three home matches to regional areas to help spread the Rabbitohs spirit and take games to some of the heartland areas of Rugby League. Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, says Rabbitohs Members clearly regard ANZ Stadium as ‘home’. "The feedback was very strong that our Members see ANZ Stadium and the new development at Moore Park as preferred options for us into the future, so it is a no-brainer for us as a Club to listen to our Members and lock in ANZ Stadium as our home stadium for at least the next two seasons," Mr Solly said. "We are continuing to work with the team at VenuesLive and the State Government on making sure our Members and supporters have a great experience every time they attend a game at ANZ Stadium, as well as exploring all options post-2022 when we expect the Moore Park development to be online. I also want to thank the Members for their patience as we have investigated all options in recent months."
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