NSW government scraps plans to redevelop Sydney's ANZ Stadium
The New South Wales government has abandoned plans to upgrade Sydney’s ANZ Stadium due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Australian state and will redirect the A$800 million ($533 million) savings towards fast-tracked infrastructure projects.
ANZ Stadium, formerly known as Sydney Olympic Stadium, was the centrepiece of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It also hosted the final of the Rugby World Cup final in 2003.
Plans to demolish and rebuild the venue were first announced in 2017 but were later dropped in favour of refurbishment. Under the proposal, A$810 million ($545 million) was set to be used to convert the 85,000-seat oval stadium into a 70,000-seat rectangular one.
However, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, who pledged the refurbishment as a key part of her election manifesto last year, yesterday confirmed the government had chosen not to go ahead with the plans as it “no longer makes sense” because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Instead, the planned investment for the stadium will be redirected to a A$3 billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund, which will be used for smaller projects in the state.
Berejiklian said the fund will increase the state’s total infrastructure pipeline to A$100 billion, adding the new fund “will be our best chance supporting the hundreds of thousands of people who have already lost their jobs in NSW."
ANZ Stadium is one of two Sydney stadiums proposed as venues in Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid to host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup. The other is Sydney Football Stadium, formerly known as Allianz Stadium.
Sydney Football Stadium was demolished last year and rebuilding commenced in April. However, the project has been plagued by issues, including cost increases and a contract dispute.
Venues in Australian cities Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Newcastle, and Launceston were also proposed as part of the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup bid.
Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton and Christchurch in New Zealand would also host matches.
The other bidders for the tournament are Brazil, Colombia and Japan.
Both ANZ Stadium and the rebuilt Sydney Football Stadium are also expected to feature as part of Australia’s bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup.