New home for rugby league at SFS

The Sydney Football Stadium precinct will be the site of a new home for rugby league that brings the National Rugby League, the Australian Rugby League, Australian Rugby League Development, the NSW Rugby League and the Country Rugby League into a single building which will also provide a community learning centre and heritage displays. <br><br> Rugby League Central will form part of the most historic precinct in Australian sport while showcasing a strong and exciting future for the game. <br><br> Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, today joined NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation, Kevin Greene, NRL Chief Executive, David Gallop, ARL Chief Executive, Geoff Carr, Country Rugby League Chairman, Jock Colley, and Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust Chief Executive, Jamie Barkley, to unveil the first drawings and the site of the new building, which is due for completion by the end of 2011. <br><br> Rugby League Central will include a game-wide One Community education and learning facility that will bring together: <br><br> - A One Community ‘Learning with League’ Education Centre catering to 5,000 children per year <br>- Facilities to develop and support volunteers <br>- Facilities to develop and support women through the Harvey Norman Women in League program <br>- Facilities to deliver Living in Harmony programs that advance social inclusion, reconciliation and Indigenous participation. <br>- Historical displays of the ‘Treasures of Rugby League’ accessible to the public. <br>- The game’s administrative arms including the Australian Rugby League, the National Rugby League, NSW Rugby League, Country Rugby League and ARLD. <br><br> The $17.4 million project has been made possible by grants from the Australian Government and NSW Government, who in 2009 committed $10.4 million and $1 million respectively. <br><br> “Rugby League Central unites the various Leagues in one building and brings the community into the heart of the game’s administration,” NRL Chief Executive David Gallop said today. <br><br> “Since securing government support for the project last year we have enlisted independent analysts to conduct an exhaustive study of possible sites and the case for the Sydney Football Stadium was compelling. <br><br> “It is an inspiring precinct for any sports fan that provides a high-profile face for the game and easy access for clubs, fans, corporate partners and the community. <br><br> “The eighty-year lease agreement will mean that the game not only creates a more streamlined administration but that it frees substantial cash flow for greater investment in the ongoing development of Rugby League.” <br><br> Chief Executive of the ARL Geoff Carr said the move to one building would be an important step for the game: <br><br> “The Leagues all work really closely as it is but the ability to be in the one location and to work side by side will provide a much more efficient environment for everybody. <br><br> “The co-ordination between the grass-roots, the Country Rugby League, ARLD, One Community and the clubs is going to grow opportunities across the entire game.” <br><br> CRL Chairman Jock Colley said that Rugby League Central would provide an important focal point for Country Rugby League supporters. <br><br> “Not only is it a recognition of the role Country Rugby League people play but the learning centre and community projects run through Rugby League Central will offer genuine opportunities to people in regional areas.” <br><br> ARL Development Chief Executive Bill Palmer said that Rugby League Central would send a strong message of inclusion to everyone who is involved in the game. <br><br> “Rugby league is as much about boys and girls getting out and being healthy as it is about the NRL and bringing everyone together in one building recognises the whole community aspect of the game,” he said.