Bankwest Stadium hits back at restricted view criticism

Bankwest Stadium, the new home of NRL rugby league club Parramatta Eels and A-League football team Western Sydney Wanderers, has moved to respond to criticism on social media regarding the apparent presence of restricted view seats in the stadium.

Located in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney, Bankwest Stadium staged its first public event on Sunday as 30,000 people attended a community event. This gave fans the chance to sample the new stadium as it prepares to host its opening sporting event, an NRL Premiership Round Six clash between Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers on April 22.

However, images on social media taken from certain seats with obstructed views provoked widespread scorn, prompting Bankwest Stadium to respond. In a reply to Twitter user @Mister_Gerardo, Bankwest Stadium said the photo was taken from a premium terrace seat with a restricted view. The stadium added that because of this, the seat won’t be sold for events.

Managed under the authority of New South Wales government agency Venues NSW and operated by VenuesLive, Bankwest Stadium has been built on the site of the old Parramatta Stadium that was demolished in 2017.

Major work started on the 30,000-seat stadium in September 2017 and the project has a budget of Aus$360m (£196.7m/€227.5m/$257.4m). The venue has been designed with a view to creating the most intimate stadium experience in Australian sport.

In other news, the Western Sydney Business Chamber today (Tuesday) revealed the impact that it expects Bankwest Stadium to make on the Parramatta CBD and the Western Sydney economy. The analysis found that visiting sports fans and major event goers to the new stadium would spend more than Aus$176m in the next two years.

David Borger, executive director of the Western Sydney Business Chamber, said: “The opening of the new Bankwest Stadium will see a surge of new visitations to Parramatta that we have never seen before.

“This is now one the best stadiums in the country with a spectator experience unparalleled. The flow-on benefits from the stadium will be immense. Parramatta’s night-time economy will be supercharged.

“Parramatta will expect to see a wave of tourists – coming to watch sports games and concerts at Bankwest Stadium. Patrons making their way to and from the stadium will be stopping at one of the many cafes and restaurants nearby – boosting the vibrancy of Parramatta Eat Street. We will also see out-of-towners booking accommodation at local hotels.”

Bankwest Stadium CEO Daryl Kerry said the venue was designed for the fans with the event experience front of mind. He added: “Bankwest Stadium will provide a fantastic new stage for rugby league, football and rugby union with fans closer to the action than ever before. It will also host a range of community events and activities, business meetings, shows and concerts.

“More than 30 sport and entertainment events are already confirmed, with more to be announced. We will host hundreds of additional meetings and special events, and anticipate more than 600,000 people will walk through the gates of Bankwest Stadium in its first nine months of operation.”

Image: Bankwest Stadium