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07 May 2016 Posted by 


Bigger vision for sports precinct

By Geoff Lee
State Member for Parramatta

LAST month it was officially confirmed that Parramatta Stadium would be the first stadium to be rebuilt.

It’s the first of three major stadium upgrades, as part of the NSW Government’s $1.6 billion Stadia Strategy. It will be completed in 2019 and deliver an international world-class 30,000 seat venue.

Already home to the Western Sydney Wanderers, Eels and Greater Sydney Rams - both the Wanderers and Eels need a larger venue to cater for their expanding fan base.

The Western Sydney Wanderers have demonstrated they can more fill the new stadium. Anyone doubting the economics of building a world class stadium in Parramatta need only look at the recent A-League Grand Final in Adelaide.

Up to 10,000 Western Sydney Wanderers fans travelled more than 2800km by road and air, whilst many more filled local venues to watch the game.  It is estimated that the game generated $5 million into the Adelaide economy.

A new Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta will offer more opportunities for greater use from other teams and attract block-buster events.

It is estimated that the new stadium will generate an $80 million to $100 million boost to the local economy every year and that translates to thousands of more jobs.

Cities around the world are taking advantage of their new stadiums as a catalyst for whole-of precinct development. Parramatta now has that opportunity.

The Western Sydney Stadium has the potential to be the catalyst for a bigger, bolder vision – a sports precinct. This could extend along O’Connell Street. 

A sporting precinct with shared facilities for football codes, sporting groups and the whole community; shared facilities such as indoor multi-purpose courts, pools, gyms, playing fields and sports education.

By developing the entire area into a sports precinct we would encourage even greater participation in active lifestyles and developing Western Sydney talent.

Parramatta’s is ideally located in Western Sydney with excellent road and rail access. Pre-game and post-game recreational and entertainment are contained within the CBD. The new light-rail will connect the stadium to the CBD, Westmead and Olympic Park.

An unanticipated consequence of a building larger stadium is that the pool may have to be relocated. This has caused some concern in the community. Planning is now underway to examine the exact requirements of the new stadium.

Rest assured, nobody wants to move the pool. In fact, I have asked to see if we can move the stadium to allow the pool to stay where it is.
In the event this is not possible and the pool needs to be moved, the State Government and Parramatta Council will work together to find a site within the CBD for a new pool.

In this case, we have an opportunity to design and build an aquatic centre with an Olympic size pool, teaching and recreational pools and activities, an indoor pool and better parking.

A new facility could offer year round swimming lessons for kids and aqua aerobics and hydrotherapy for seniors. This could be an aquatic centre that meets the needs of our community now and for the next 50 years.

In the meantime the pool will remain open during the 2016-17 summer season and we will continue to work with the Council during this time.

Whether the pool can stay in situ, or not, the NSW Government will continue to work closely with Parramatta City Council and other stakeholders on the future of the pool, and its CBD location.

The NSW Government is committed to building a new world-class Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta. Strong and growing fan bases will underpin a significant increase in utilisation of the new stadium, and this will be fantastic for Parramatta's tourism and sport industries.

It will provide a significant boost for events and sport in the Western Sydney region as well as major economic and social benefits to the community.  A new sports precinct could be the icing on the cake.



Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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