Concerns grow over future of Allianz Stadium project

The New South Wales authorities have been warned they may struggle to find a construction partner who can complete the rebuilding of Allianz Stadium on time and within budget.

Michael Waterhouse, who recently resigned from the committee overseeing the redevelopment of Sydney’s premier sports stadium, was speaking after it was announced on Friday that construction contractor Lendlease is no longer involved in the project.

While Lendlease has almost completed the demolition of the stadium it has indicated it cannot rebuild the home of NRL team Sydney Roosters within the AUS$729m (£405m/$505m) budget.

However, while the New South Wales government is adamant the 45,000-capacity stadium will be finished by 2022 and within budget, critics have pointed out that only four companies, including Lendlease, tendered for the project last year – Besix Australia, CPB Contractors and Multiplex.

Waterhouse told the Sydney Morning Herald: “My view is that if Lendlease can’t do it, I’ll be very surprised if anyone else can do it. Then it’s a question of whether … the architects need to go back to the drawing board and make any changes needed to get the price down.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today (Monday) admitted there had never been a contract in place for the rebuilding of the stadium, despite the government announcing in December that Lendlease was “the construction contractor”.

“The advice provided to the government was that we could get a better deal – and that’s what we’re doing,” she told reporters.

“We won’t be taken for a ride. We don’t want anyone to take for granted the NSW taxpayer. We don’t want anyone to take the government for granted.

“I’m absolutely confident we’ll stick to the timeline.”

Sydney Football Stadium, which was built in 1988 and had a capacity of 45,000, was home to NRL team Sydney Roosters, Super Rugby’s New South Wales Waratahs and the A-League’s Sydney FC. The Roosters have signed a 25-year deal to play at the rebuilt stadium from 2022.

In the last 31 years the stadium has also hosted concerts featuring U2, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.

Image: Sydney Roosters