The demolition and subsequent rebuilding of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium appears set to go ahead after the New South Wales government dismissed a late bid by the Labor Opposition to halt the project.
The government’s vision for the stadium has proven to be a talking point in recent months, with the state’s opposition Labor party insisting it will not provide funding for the redevelopment of Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium if it is elected into government in March.
Opposition leader Michael Daley has today reiterated his party’s desire for the current government to rethink its plans for the demolition of the stadium. Daley has urged the current Premier Gladys Berejiklian not to go ahead with the demolition before the state election.
However, the government looks set to ignore Daley’s claims that it is acting against the will of the public and press ahead with the plans. New South Wales Sports Minister Stuart Ayres told The Australian newspaper that the plans for the stadia have been in the works for more than two years and that the work is essential for Sydney to continue as a host of major events.
“The Olympics were 20 years ago and Sydney is now at the back of the pack,” he said. “Without world-class facilities the best sports and entertainment events will skip Sydney altogether. This is why NSW is running last because people like Michael Daley get in the way of getting NSW back to being number one.”
If elected, Daley said Labor would “stop the madness” and look to refurbish Allianz Stadium instead of demolishing it.
Ayres, though, insisted the work has to be done to ensure Sydney doesn’t get left behind by other Australian cities: “Our stadiums are old, the fans don’t like them. In Victoria they have built Docklands Stadium, AAMI Park and they’ve rebuilt the entire Melbourne Cricket Ground – all since the Sydney football stadium was built in 1988.”
The NSW government last month awarded a contract for the demolition of Allianz Stadium and construction of the new venue. The government signed a contract with property and infrastructure group Lendlease to not only knock down the existing structure but also to build a new stadium for Aus$730m (£409m/€455m/$520m).
Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, meanwhile, is set to undergo major renovation work as part of the wide-ranging plans outlined last year by the government. Another new Sydney venue, the 30,000-seat Bankwest Stadium, is due to open in April.
Image: Cox Architecture