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Blue Beauty: Work Begins ON $20m NSWRL Centre of Excellence Next to ANZ Stadium

  • Construction of Australia’s most up-to-date high-performance centre – a $20 million NSWRL Centre of Excellence – is underway next to Stadium Australia;
  • A full-length training field for the NSWRL Blues is scheduled for completion by end of 2016;
  • High-performance building and new NSWRL administration offices to be completed by end of 2017;
  • NSWRL Blues players to enter Stadium Australia via the same tunnel that was used by Cathy Freeman and fellow athletes during the 2000 Olympics.

Arthur Stanley

WORK has started on a new home for the NSWRL Blues – a world-class Centre of Excellence that will include a dedicated full-length field and unprecedented access to their spiritual home ground Stadium Australia.

NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has joined NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley and NSW Rugby League Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM to turn the first sod on the game-changing facility that will provide the most advanced sports training facilities in the country.

The Blues’ dedicated training ground and High-Performance Centre are being established at Fig Grove on Dawn Fraser Avenue – a short walk from the gates of Stadium Australia.

The NSWRL has already moved its administration offices from Moore Park to its new long-term home at Sydney Olympic Park in Greater Sydney. They have set up temporary offices in Herb Elliott Avenue – a punt kick from the site of their new facility. 

“NSW remains the spiritual home of Rugby League, so from our perspective, investing in world class training and administration facilities is exactly what the sport deserves,” Mr Ayres said as kicked off works on the new Centre of Excellence.

“The first stage of the build will provide a full size training field and a new building for specialised support facilities and the offices of the NSW Rugby League.

“A $10 million NSW Government funding toward the facility highlights the strong commitment to grow Sydney Olympic Park as a sporting and business gateway to Western Sydney.”

NSWRL Chairman Dr Peponis said it was a historic day for NSW Rugby League.

“This Centre of Excellence provides one of the highest performance facilities of any sport in the country and everyone in the NSW Rugby League family will benefit from being able to use this and other specialist sports grounds in the precinct,” Dr Peponis said.

NSW Blues State of Origin coach Laurie Daley said access to state-of-the-art facilities at the Centre of Excellence, as well other facilities in the precinct, creates a wonderful opportunity.

“The new Centre of Excellence will improve preparation for our junior representatives and elite players to referees – not to mention adding to the home ground advantage of Stadium Australia.”

The Blues’ dedicated training field is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, with the NSWRL Centre of Excellence building to be in place by the end of 2017.

Blues players will be able to access Stadium Australia via the same tunnel that was used by Cathy Freeman ad fellow athletes during the Sydney Olympics.

“We expect this walk through the tunnel – adorned with the history of the NSW Blues – to quickly become one of the great traditions of Origin,” said NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden.

The tunnel entrance will be inside the NSWRL Centre of Excellence facility.

The NSWRL Centre of Excellence is one of a series of major infrastructure projects set to supercharge the event experience at Stadium Australia and Sydney Olympic Park.

In other developments:

  • The NSW Government has already announced that Stadium Australia will be transformed into one of the world’s great rectangular stadiums, with seating dramatically closer to the action. Work is scheduled to begin by 2019;
  • The Western Sydney Light Rail route will bring fans to the gates of Stadium Australia – connecting Westmead and Parramatta with Sydney Olympic Park and Strathfield. Work on the Light Rail route is expected to begin by 2018;
  • Work is advancing on Stage 1 of the WestConnex Motorway Project that will slash travelling times from the CBD to Sydney Olympic Park – removing the need to travel on Parramatta Road – and dramatically improving road access to and from the major carparks in Sydney Olympic Park;
  • Sydney Olympic Park village is to undergo a dramatic facelift as part of a new masterplan that bring additional bars, cafes and eateries to the precinct – significantly improving the pre-and-post-event atmosphere. By 2030, Sydney Olympic Park will have a daily population of 50,500 residents, workers and students, plus 25,000 visitors a day.

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