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Suellen Fitzgerald, Director of Western Sydney Parkland Trust, Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr John Chedid, Chief Executive of the Parramatta Eels, Ken Edwards, Executive Chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Lyall Gorman Suellen Fitzgerald, Director of Western Sydney Parkland Trust, Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr John Chedid, Chief Executive of the Parramatta Eels, Ken Edwards, Executive Chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Lyall Gorman Featured
05 June 2013 Posted by 

Codes unite to drive stadium redevelopment

By Mike Walls

INFLUENCERS within the major sporting codes in Western Sydney have united to create a master plan aimed at securing State government funding for the redevelopment of the Parramatta Stadium Precinct.

The group will deliver a master plan for the redevelopment of the stadium precinct into the region’s premier sports venue with facilities similar to those at ANZ stadium.

Parramatta City Council has initiated the establishment of a Sporting and Recreation Facilities Advisory Committee, which includes the Parramatta Eels and Western Sydney Wanderers to consolidate stakeholders from major sporting codes.

The group will lobby the State Government and drive a coordinated planning approach to the development of sporting and recreation facilities in Parramatta.

Parramatta Lord Mayor, Cr John Chedid told WSBA the group will push for an immediate upgrade of the Parramatta Stadium Precinct, starting with creating a master plan for the precinct.

Cr Chedid said the council will seek to partner with the State Government to upgrade the stadium to enable it to cater to the growing fan base across all sporting codes in Western Sydney.

“We need this upgrade to bring the stadium up to the standard of the city. We need more facilities and we need more seating immediately. We need to be able to cater more effectively to the corporate market,” Cr Chedid told WSBA.

“Parramatta is a city and it is the capital of Western Sydney. We can justify an upgrade to bring the precinct to a standard similar to ANZ stadium.

“Sport is a significant contributor to our local economy and it is imperative that Parramatta capitalises on our sporting potential, especially in light of the region’s rapidly growing population.

“The expansion of Parramatta Stadium will not only provide a better experience for spectators but also ensure that our two local sporting teams, the Parramatta Eels and the Western Sydney Wanderers, have the necessary facilities to enhance their growth.”

The decision to form the Sporting and Recreation Facilities Advisory Committee followed a recent meeting at Parramatta with key sporting and recreation stakeholders, including Parramatta Leagues, Parramatta Cricket Club, the Eels and Wanderers, the YMCA and the PCYC – and the venues representatives from the state government and the Western City Parklands Trust.

Those present agreed that facilities for participants and fans need improvement and the Parramatta Stadium Precinct should be able to cater for multipurpose usage.

“Our stadium should be a regional sports facility. This is a very logical thing to do,” said Cr Chedid.

Cr Chedid said the next step was to create a master plan for the precinct which may include redevelopment of the council-owed swimming pool to include an indoor aquatics centre.

“The key now is to move forward strategically and develop a plan to ensure that we deliver a clear message to the NSW and Federal Governments that the Parramatta Stadium Precinct is the logical choice to invest in future capital sporting infrastructure in the region,” Cr Chedid said.

Parramatta Eels CEO, Ken Edwards, commended Council for its proactive approach to the future sporting needs of the region.

"If the Parramatta Eels are to remain competitive and be sustainable both on and off the field, Parramatta Stadium must undergo a major and well thought through redevelopment - an upgrade not just to cater for 'more seats' but also one that provides modern facilities for our 16,000 members and corporate partners, similar to those provided for the Canterbury Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.

“The Eels have the worst training facilities of any NRL club. Any upgrade of this stadium or training facilities must be substantial to be in line with the growth of our club, the City of Parramatta and the region of Western Sydney," Mr Edwards said.

The Executive Chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Lyall Gorman, said having a unified approach to the planning of Parramatta Stadium, was a positive for Western Sydney.

“We were delighted with the crowds we attracted to Parramatta Stadium in our first year of competition. To grow our game and our fan-base, we need to continue to look at ways we can improve our home facilities,” Mr Gorman said.



editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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