Arthur Stanley and Joel Moss
Stadium Australia has formed a strategic alliance with London’s iconic Wembley Stadium in a deal that will have multiple benefits for Stadium Members and the state of NSW.
In announcing the partnership, Stadium Australia Managing Director Daryl Kerry said it was an exciting opportunity for Stadium Australia Operations – the company that runs Stadium Australia – to benchmark its business against one of the world’s great stadiums, as well as to share ideas and explore event opportunities.
He said the alliance was particularly exciting for Stadium Australia’s 18,000 Members who will have opportunities to access Wembley’s biggest events, including the FA Cup Final and rugby league’s Challenge Cup Final, as part of a reciprocal rights membership deal.
The two stadiums will also have a staff exchange program, enabling key staff members from both countries to gain valuable international experience in the venue management business.
Mr Kerry said: “We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Wembley and to be able to benchmark our own operations and share ideas with one of the great stadiums of the world.
“It is a fantastic initiative for our Members who will have the opportunity to access some of Wembley’s biggest events – and also for Wembley’s Members who will be able to see some of Australia’s greatest events through a reciprocal rights Membership deal.
“From a business point of view, this partnership will certainly help develop relationships which could lead to more great events for Sydney, which in turn helps generate significant income for NSW.
“Similarly, there will be opportunities for sports business here to engage with Wembley’s massive reach through the sports and entertainment world.”
Wembley is owned by The Football Association, through its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Ltd. It is the home of the England national football team and is the largest stadium in the United Kingdom, seating 90,000 fans. While football provides the stadium with its core events, it also hosts three NFL regular-season games per year, as well as staging major music concerts and other sports and entertainment events.
Stadium Australia – Sydney’s Olympic stadium – has welcomed more than 21 million fans through its turnstiles over the past 15 years. They have witnessed many of Australia’s greatest sports and entertainment events after the Stadium was purpose-built for the 2000 Sydney Games.
With a capacity of more than 80,000, Stadium Australia competes with other major interstate and international stadiums to ensure major events are held in Sydney.
While Stadium Australia has served Sydney well, Stadium Australia Operations is working closely with the NSW Government and its major stakeholders – including the five professional sports that regularly host events at the Stadium – on a major redevelopment project.
Stadium Australia Operations has received detailed submissions from two global development and construction consortiums bidding for the right to redevelop the Stadium in line with the masterplan vision released by the NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation in July 2013.
An announcement is expected soon on which consortium has been selected to develop the new-look Stadium, with a detailed design, construction methodology, works schedule and costs.
The major features of the redevelopment plan are:
- A retractable roof that will weather-proof major sports and entertainment events;
- The flexibility to reconfigure the Stadium’s lower seating bowl to improve spectator viewing and playing field dimensions, including:
- Bringing fans dramatically closer to the field of play with new moveable end-stands that create a perfect rectangle for rugby league, rugby union and football and an amazing “behind the goals experience”;
- Increasing the eastern and western boundaries to provide longer straight-hit boundaries for cricket and a more traditional oval shape for AFL;
- Game-changing spectator facilities including boutique restaurants, bars, outdoor terraces and eateries. Cutting-edge digital media innovations create an in-Stadium technological superdome;
- Development of the precinct outside the Stadium, including new hospitality, cultural and commercial zones, which add life, colour and entertainment for Stadium patrons to enjoy before and after events.