The New South Wales Cabinet has today (Thursday) given its approval to a major development project that will see two stadia in Sydney, Australia, demolished and rebuilt, at a cost of approximately Aus$2bn (€1.29bn/U$1.52bn/£1.14bn).

Work on the Allianz Stadium, previously known as the Sydney Football Stadium, is expected to begin next year, before the focus shifts to the Olympic Stadium, now known as the ANZ Stadium under a naming rights deal, in 2019.

Although specific details of the project have not yet been made available to the public, the Australian Associated Press news agency has said that the ANZ Stadium will be substantially demolished and could feature a retractable roof. Work on the venue is set to take up to two-and-a-half years.

The Allianz Stadium will also be rebuilt but retain a capacity of 45,000. The total number of seats in the ANZ Stadium is expected to be between 75,000 and 80,000 after the rebuild, despite earlier reports suggesting that this could be as low as 65,000.

Confirmation of the project comes as work continues on the redevelopment of Parramatta Stadium, also in the Australian city. The new Western Sydney Stadium is due for completion in 2019 and, combined with the government’s Aus$200m purchase of the Olympic Stadium, brings the total cost of work to Aus$2.5bn.

Sydney’s ANZ Stadium was the centrepiece of the city’s 2000 summer Olympic Games. Although the venue does not have a permanent tenant, it is used to stage a wide range of events, such as the New South Wales rugby league team’s home games in the State of Origin series and the 2003 Rugby World Cup finals.

The Allianz Stadium is home to National Rugby League club the Sydney Roosters, as well as Super Rugby outfit the New South Wales Waratahs and A-League football team Sydney FC.

Image: MDM