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SCG Trust begin push for new 40,000-seat stadium at Moore Park

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2017

The SCG Trust has reignited its bid for a new stadium at Moore Park with a modified 40,000-seat proposal now on the table.

The trust's hopes of a new stadium seemed dead in the water last year after the state government ruled in favour of providing the majority of its $1.6 billion stadia investment into ANZ Stadium, ending a push for a 60,000-seat venue at Moore Park.

However, Fairfax Media understands plans for a knock-down and rebuild on the existing Allianz Stadium site has gathered momentum during the past few months, with all key stakeholders set to back the proposal put forward by the SCG Trust.

The plans by the Trust won't interfere with the government's pledge to turn ANZ Stadium into a permanent rectangular facility from 2019, but there is a hope Allianz Stadium will receive more than just a coat of paint once its turn comes around.

"The NRL supports the government's strategy to build a new stadium at Parramatta and upgrade ANZ Stadium as a first step," an NRL spokesperson said.

"If there are sufficient funds to rebuild Allianz Stadium then we would naturally support that too."

The Roosters, Waratahs and Sydney FC all turned against sports minister Stuart Ayres last year after claiming they were "cheated" during negotiations in which they were given guarantees a new stadium would be built on a different site to their current home.

Former premier Mike Baird then publicly criticised Ayres' plans to build a new stadium over Kippax Lake, leaving the clubs with the possibility of being displaced for four years if they agreed to a knock-down and rebuild of Allianz Stadium.

Under the revised plans, the Trust is hoping the clubs of the three football codes unite in support of a smaller boutique venue that will take half the time to build.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who was spotted in the SCG Trust suite during the Sydney Test match last month prior to her promotion, has made it clear the funding priority would remain with Parramatta and ANZ Stadium.

SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd and ANZ Stadium chair Christine McLoughlin have been in regular discussion about the future of Sydney stadia after the Olympic stadium was returned to public ownership on July 1 last year.

The new Parramatta stadium will cost $360 million, while ANZ Stadium is likely to cost up to $800 million to be transformed into the state's premier rectangular facility.

That will leave Allianz Stadium with about $400-$500 million to spend and, rather than upgrade the dated venue, the SCG Trust is making plans to build a new stadium on the existing site.

If plans come to fruition, the Roosters will likely move their matches to the Sydney Cricket Ground while also continuing to build its imprint on the Central Coast, where they already take matches.

The Waratahs are believed to be exploring the possibility of venturing out west, likely to play some of its matches out of the new 30,000-seat Parramatta stadium due to open in 2019.

The home of Sydney FC is up in the air and are most likely to resist being moved out of their existing home.

A potential new A-League club on the Shire would make Shark Park and Kogarah less appealing to the competition leaders.

While a move to the new Stadium in Parramatta would also be met with plenty of resistance given it will be the home of their arch rivals, Western Sydney Wanderers, who have struggled to attract fans at Spotless Stadium after leaving Pirtek Stadium.

Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City share AAMI Park in Melbourne, but the two teams aren't bound by geographical borders like the Wanderers and Sydney FC.

There is a suggestion a compensation pay-out to clubs will help them cope with the economic disadvantages of being dislocated.

 

Source: smh.com.au

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