NRL welcomes stadium strategy
The NRL on Tuesday commended the NSW Government's commitment to upgrading Sydney's stadia network to deliver a better experience to rugby league fans.
The Government today released its State Infrastructure Strategy which preserves $600 million to support investments in sporting infrastructure.
The Strategy recommends upgrading Allianz Stadium and reviewing alternatives in Parramatta and Homebush to address the need for a stadium that caters for rectangular sports. It also signalled the start of long-term planning for an outer Western Sydney stadium.
Chief Executive Officer Dave Smith said the Government's willingness to invest $600 million towards delivering a world-class rectangular stadium network was an important step in the process.
"More than 100 games of elite rugby league are played in this city each year – and we are by far and away the largest provider of elite sporting content in NSW," Mr Smith said.
"Today's announcement is massive for our game. Our fans have missed out in the past but the greatest game of all deserves a world-class experience.
"Our fans deserve facilities that bring them closer to the action and are easy to get to. That means facilities that are purpose built for rugby league.
"The best stadia in the world are those where people already live and work nearby, are part of thriving precincts and are on public transport hubs so fans can access them easily."
Mr Smith said Moore Park was on the doorstep of the CBD and with the commitment to building a light rail service to run past its doorstep it had the key attributes to make it a truly great, world-class stadium.
As the major provider of content for the stadium, the NRL is partnering with the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust on a concept design for options to redevelop Allianz Stadium.
The investment ensures the NRL, on behalf of its fans, is part of the discussions around delivering a world-class fan experience and a purpose built, rectangular stadium that befits Sydney's status as a leading Australian and global city.
The NRL's upfront funding partnership with Allianz was aimed at securing rugby league fans a seat at the design table to assist meet critical deadlines for government funding.
The NRL has negotiated with the Trust that the $750 000 upfront investment will be recouped once funding for the upgrade is finalised.
"Upgrading Allianz is a logical first step and there is no doubt it will become a cornerstone of Sydney's stadia network," Mr Smith said.
"A second world-class stadium, however, is needed in central western Sydney and we will continue to work with the Government on the best possible solution.
"These are decisions that shape the long term future and we are determined that the fans of today, and the fans of tomorrow, get the best outcome."
The NRL said it would continue to engage with the Government as it considers the best options for fans in western Sydney.