STADIUM Australia Operations Pty Ltd, operator of Stadium Australia, 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.
Construction giants Brookfield Multiplex and Laing O’Rourke were among consortiums that made a shortlist following a process in which companies were invited to express interest in redeveloping Stadium Australia and its surrounding precinct at Sydney Olympic Park.
Brookfield Multiplex and Laing O’Rourke have both provided detailed designs, outlined full costs of the proposed scope of works, provided construction methodology, and a full timing schedule for the construction process.
The two consortiums will now officially present their ideas and designs for the Stadium redevelopment to an evaluation committee made up of a number of stakeholders at Stadium Australia in coming days.
Over the next four weeks, the committee will then assess the two design options before a final decision is made on which consortium will redevelop the Stadium that was purpose-built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The planned multi-million-dollar investment in the Stadium is designed to ensure the Sydney Olympics showpiece remains the iconic venue it was built to be, and enable NSW to continue to secure major events in the face of competition from international and interstate rivals.
Subject to securing the necessary funding, it is hoped the planning of construction works can begin as early as 2015.
As part of the redevelopment process, Stadium Australia Operations is working closely with the NSW Government and has consulted with all its key event partners.
SAO has made it a priority to listen to the views of the major sporting codes, clubs and promoters that hold events at the Stadium to ensure the redevelopment aligns with their own strategic priorities. The consortiums were asked to program their construction works in such a manner that there would be minimal disruption to major events at the Stadium.
The addition of a roof will enable new events and stakeholders to be included in the Stadium’s event program and add to Sydney’s appeal as a venue for major sporting and entertainment blockbusters.
Stadium Australia Operations Managing Director, Mr Daryl Kerry, said his group was elated by the quality of submissions it had received from Brookfield Multiplex and Laing O’Rourke.
“The design concepts we have seen at this point from both consortiums are exceptional and will provide Sydney with one of the greatest multi-purpose sports and entertainment stadiums in the world,” Mr Kerry said.
“The redevelopment of the Stadium, dialing out some of the compromises in design that were necessary for the vast nature of the Sydney Olympics, is as much a journey for the people of Sydney as it is for us.
“Stadium Australia Operations hopes to be in a position, within the next five weeks, to release at least some of the design concepts for the redevelopment, which should generate a lot of excitement.”
Mr Kerry said bringing the Stadium masterplan to reality would enable NSW to continue to lead the way in attracting world-class sport and entertainment.
“This Stadium will generate millions of dollars for Sydney and for NSW again this year. So an investment in the Stadium is, in effect, an investment in NSW,” he said.
“The exciting designs and improvements both inside and outside Stadium Australia will deliver a huge economic dividend for NSW and will be a tremendous boost for the sports, clubs and promoters who use the Stadium going forward.”
Mr David Ghannoum, Regional Managing Director, Brookfield Multiplex, said: “Brookfield Multiplex is excited about the proposal to undertake an innovative and substantial upgrade of Stadium Australia and its adjoining precinct.
“Stadium Australia was an iconic project for Brookfield Multiplex, and we would welcome the opportunity to deliver this far-seeing project for the people of Sydney.
“We would be honoured to continue our association with Sydney’s Olympic Stadium to ensure that Stadium Australia remains universally recognised as the world’s most dynamic and versatile multi-purpose stadium.”
Laing O’Rourke Region Director, Mr Nick Luzar, said his company was pleased to be involved in such an exciting proposal for Sydney.
“Laing O’Rourke – Australia’s largest privately owned engineering and construction company – is thrilled to be part of this process, and continuing our work on the best possible solutions for Stadium Australia Group in its delivery of exciting Western Sydney infrastructure.
“Laing O’Rourke has engaged world-class architectural practice BVN Donovan Hill and global engineering consultancy Arup, bringing design and delivery experience in stadia and precinct masterplanning projects across the globe.
“Our team has both background at the Sydney Olympic Park Stadium, as well as a long history on major international sporting projects like Royal Ascot racecourse and Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
“We are a team focused on engineering excellence, and will deploy all our global resources to get the best fit for Sydney.
“Our bid for this landmark project will be centred around a memorable experience for the Western Sydney community, and all Stadium Australia visitors, workers, top-tier entertainers and on-field gladiators.”
The consortiums received a brief for the redesign based on the Sydney Olympic Park Stadia Masterplan Vision that was released last year by then NSW Minister for Sport, Mr Graham Annesley.
The major features of the redevelopment plan are:
- A retractable roof that will weather-proof major sports and entertainment events;
- A reconfiguration of the Stadium’s lower seating bowl to improve spectator viewing and playing field dimensions, including:
- Bringing spectators as close as 5m to the field of play at the northern and southern ends of the Stadium through the installation of moveable grandstands and creating a perfect rectangular field for rugby league, rugby union and football;
- Increasing the eastern and western boundaries to provide longer straight-hit boundaries for cricket and a more traditional oval shape for AFL;
- New and refurbished player and spectator facilities including restaurants, bars, terraces and eateries;
- Development of the precinct outside the Stadium, including new precinct bars, cafes and restaurants for Stadium patrons to enjoy before and after events.
The upgrade of the Stadium is in line with the NSW Government Stadia Strategy released in August 2012, which focuses future NSW Government investment on key NSW Government venues, including Stadium Australia.
More than 1.6 million fans attended events at Stadium Australia in 2013. Five major events alone last year – a FIFA World Cup qualifier, two State of Origin games, the deciding Wallabies v Lions rugby Test and the A-League All Stars v Manchester United classic – drew a total of 411,545 fans through the gates, upwards of 45,000 visitors to NSW, and was worth $100 million to the NSW economy.
The 2014 Stadium event calendar is in full swing, with 83,421 fans recently witnessing one of the most intense and dramatic State of Origin contests in history, with the NSW Blues ending Queensland’s eight-year reign as Origin champions.
Upcoming sporting blockbusters include a visit by Italian superclub Juventus to play the A-League All Stars (10 August), the opening match of the Bledisloe Cup series (16 August), NRL and AFL Finals including the NRL Grand Final (5 October), Sydney’s only T20 cricket international (9 November) and Big Bash League cricket games. The Waratahs will also play the Super Rugby Final at the Stadium should they qualify to host the match.
The Stadium will then start 2015 with a bang – hosting all seven Sydney games, including the Final of the AFC Asian Cup, the biggest sporting event in Asia and the most significant football tournament ever staged in Australia, between 9-31 January.