Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly has given an insight on the recent announcement of the breakthrough stadium developments and upgrades, and how they will positively affect the Rabbitohs both on and off the field.
Last week, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that ANZ Stadium would be replaced with a 75,000 capacity rectangular oval through an estimated $1.25 billion investment, which will give Rugby League fans the best game-day experience possible.
While it will take some time and patience, Solly is adamant that the investment will be great for Rabbitohs and Rugby League Members alike.
“Obviously we welcome the State Government's investment into sporting facilities. We’re very happy that ANZ stadium will be receiving the lion’s share of the money and be knocked down and rebuilt as a purpose-built rectangular stadium,” he said.
“We think, aligned with the improvements to the transporting infrastructure to and from ANZ, that in five years time, we’ll be looking at having a stadium with great transport links, creating the best possible match day experience for our fans and Members, so we’re excited about that.
“As a sport we should welcome $2.3 billion of investment in stadium infrastructure because it’s a hefty sum but it’s going to create three great stadiums and ideally those will operate as a network so the best games are at the right venues.”
It won’t be just the Rabbitohs’ home ground that will be under change however, with Solly happily announcing the government’s plans to fund the Club’s new Centre Of Excellence, which will be located at Heffron Park in Maroubra.
Solly says that the new base in Heffron Park will bring a monumental change in the Club’s dynamics, from the players and staff to the Members and fans, which will bring a huge benefit to the Club as a whole.
“I think the greatest opportunity that comes out of this is for us in particular is the Centre of Excellence funding. The government has confirmed they have $40 million of funding to give to NSW based clubs that participated in the process,” he said.
“We gave our final submission in May, so we’ve been waiting a long time to find out how much of that will be allocated to our project in Heffron Park. We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Randwick City Council in presenting the submission, and for us we just want the State Government now to confirm the dividend from the Centre of Excellence fund for us so that we can begin building a new home for the Rabbitohs at Heffron Park that will transform the Club.