Bold Vision for Rabbitohs Home ANZ Stadium Unveiled
Fourteen years on from hosting the Sydney Olympics, ANZ Stadium management has released detailed plans to redevelop the Rabbitohs' home ground and make it the most cutting-edge sports and entertainment precinct in the world.
More than 21 million fans have passed through the ANZ Stadium gates since it was purpose-built for the 2000 Olympic Games, and the Stadium continues to host many of the nation’s biggest events and most iconic sporting moments.
Today, ANZ Stadium announced that global construction and engineering company Laing O’Rourke has been selected to carry out a proposed $350 million redevelopment of the Stadium, in line with the NSW Government’s Stadia Strategy and the Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan Vision released by the NSW Government in July 2013.
ANZ Stadium Managing Director, Mr Daryl Kerry, said: “Sydney is the most diverse and competitive sporting city in the world, being home to more than 15 professional teams across five major codes. The design concepts developed by Laing O’Rourke are exceptional and will provide Sydney with one of the greatest multi-purpose sports and entertainment stadiums in the world.”
The key highlights of the redevelopment include:
- Bringing fans closer to the action: Moveable grandstands at both ends of the Stadium bring fans as close as 5m to the field of play by creating a perfect rectangle for Rugby League, Rugby Union and Football. Fans will be as close and in some instances closer to the action behind the goals than they are at Allianz Stadium, Suncorp Stadium and the iconic Emirates and Wembley stadiums in London. ANZ Stadium retains the ability to be configured for AFL and Cricket;
- A retractable roof: It will open or close in 20 minutes and weather-proof all events to ensure perfect playing conditions and spectator comfort all-year round;
- Improving atmosphere: Capacity is maintained at 80,000-plus, but new design features allow the Stadium to be presented in an “Intimate Mode” – a unique London Olympics-style LED solution – that gives the Stadium the ability to configure appropriately for small, medium and large events.
- Lively Stadium Precinct: A proposed dynamic entertainment zone will wrap around the Stadium, bringing life, colour and energy to the precinct 365 days a year. New bars, cafes and restaurants are planned for both inside and out, creating a vibrant event destination;
- Better transport: The Stadium redevelopment will coincide with the construction of the WestConnex motorway, which will cut travelling time from the CBD to ANZ Stadium in half. The NSW Government is also considering a proposal for a Light Rail corridor between Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park.
Laing O’Rourke was chosen from shortlisted bidders in a process where companies were invited to express interest in redeveloping ANZ Stadium and developing a concept for the precinct surrounding the Stadium.
The proposed 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.
Laing O’Rourke has provided detailed designs, outlined full costs of the proposed scope of works, as well as construction methodology and a full timing schedule for the construction process.
Subject to an agreement between Government and private enterprise on a funding model, and gaining the necessary development approvals, it is hoped construction works inside the Stadium can begin immediately after the 2016 NRL Grand Final and be completed in time for State of Origin 2018.
Many of Sydney’s leading athletes, including superstars Israel Folau, Greg Inglis and Kieren Jack, are supporting the redevelopment. Wallabies and Waratahs star Folau said: “We played the Super Rugby Final this year in front of 62,000 fans at ANZ Stadium and the atmosphere was as good as any I have played in front of. I’ve seen the redevelopment plans and get excited just thinking about what’s to come.”
ANZ Stadium Managing Director, Mr Kerry, said: “Sydney’s sporting infrastructure has fallen behind other states and major cities in the Asia-Pacific region. While ANZ Stadium has served Sydney well, it must undergo a significant redevelopment to ensure it continues to attract major events for Sydney and NSW and meet the expectations of today’s players and fans.
“The planned redevelopment of the Stadium will substantially increase the already significant economic benefits delivered to NSW through the staging of major events. This Stadium generates millions of dollars for Sydney and for NSW each year. So an investment in the Stadium is, in effect, an investment in NSW.
“The addition of a roof will enable new events to be included in the Stadium’s event program and add to Sydney’s appeal as a venue for major sporting and entertainment blockbusters. The moveable end stands will be a game-changer for the rugby codes and football, bringing fans to as close as 5m from the action and creating a fantastic behind-the-goals experience.”
ANZ Stadium’s Economic Contribution
ANZ Stadium is vital for the State’s ability to secure high-profile events as it is the only stadium with significant capacity in NSW.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers report calculates that since opening in 1999, the Stadium has contributed $5 billion to the NSW economy, from approximately 600 sporting and entertainment events attended by over 21 million spectators.
Based on the Stadium's forecasts of events and attendance, the PricewaterhouseCoopers report estimates that ANZ Stadium’s annual contribution to the NSW economy is $301 million. With the proposed redevelopment, this is expected to increase by $173m to $474m per annum, delivering gross economic contribution to the NSW economy of $8.3 billion (not discounted) from the completion of the redevelopment in 2018 until the proposed Stadium Lease expiry date of 2061.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report also found that the Stadium employs 2200 people with more than two thirds of these from Western Sydney.
World-Class Sport & Entertainment
As part of the proposed redevelopment process, ANZ Stadium has worked closely with the NSW Government and continues to consult with all its key event partners.
ANZ Stadium 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. Laing O’Rourke has planned its construction works to minimise disruption to major events at the Stadium.
Mr Kerry said the Stadium redevelopment would bring fans closer to the action, ensure perfect playing conditions and spectator comfort in all weather conditions, and create world-class facilities both inside and outside the Stadium.
“We have already had more than 1.5 million fans – including thousands from interstate or overseas – attend events at the Stadium this year,” Mr Kerry said.
“They have come to watch some unforgettable sporting contests – the NSW Blues’ State of Origin victory, the NSW Waratahs’ Super Rugby title win, the tense Bledisloe Cup Test, the Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup warm-up game, Alessandro Del Piero’s emotional farewell against mighty Juventus, two Swans Finals, and the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ historic Grand Final victory.
“The exciting designs and improvements both inside and outside ANZ Stadium will deliver a huge economic dividend for NSW and will be tremendous for the fans – and a major boost for the sports, clubs and promoters who use the Stadium going forward.”
Laing O'Rourke Managing Director, Cathal O’Rourke, said his company was delighted to have been selected as the consortium to carry out the proposed redevelopment of Sydney’s Olympic stadium – one of the world’s greatest stadiums when it was purpose-built for the 2000 Games.
“Laing O’Rourke, as Australia’s largest privately owned engineering and construction company – is thrilled to be part of this important project,” he said.
“As program managers for the London 2012 Olympics and the construction delivery team behind premier projects like Ascot Racecourse in London, Etihad Stadium for Manchester City in the UK, and the Brisbane and Darwin Convention Centres, we look forward to now helping ANZ Stadium turn an exciting entertainment concept for Sydney into stunning reality.
“Laing O'Rourke has engaged world-class architectural practice BVN Donovan Hill and global engineering consultancy Arup, bringing additional design and delivery experience in stadia and precinct master-planning from projects across the globe.
“We are a team focused on engineering excellence, and will deploy all our global resources to get the best result for Sydney. This landmark project will be centred around a memorable experience for the greater Sydney community, and all ANZ Stadium visitors, workers, top-tier entertainers and, of course, on-field athletes of all codes and disciplines.”
The upgrade of ANZ Stadium is in line with the NSW Government Stadia Strategy released in August 2012, which focuses future NSW Government investment on key NSW venues, including ANZ Stadium.