South Australia Premier Steven Marshall has today (Friday) made his first major pitch ahead of next year’s state elections by unveiling plans to develop a new 15,000-seat arena in the Adelaide Riverbank precinct.

A re-elected Marshall Liberal Government has pledged to build the multi-purpose venue, expected to cost around A$700m (£390m/€456.1m/$543.7m), to replace the existing Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The potential for a new multi-use sports and entertainment venue had been reported back in September, with these plans now solidified by the Adelaide Venue Management Corporation, having undergone preliminary assessment by Infrastructure South Australia.

“This project will create jobs for South Australians and help cement Adelaide as one of the most liveable cities in the world,” said Marshall. “Our investment will take recent government and private investment in entertainment and convention infrastructure along Adelaide’s riverbank precinct to more than A$2bn.”

The new arena will be capable of hosting concerts, conventions and court sports – including basketball, netball and tennis. Sport and entertainment events in South Australia are currently limited by the capacity of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and its location.

Adelaide Entertainment Centre currently has a total capacity of 11,300, with only 9,600 for basketball and netball. The new arena will seat 15,000 for all events. An underground tunnel will also provide a direct link with the Adelaide Convention Centre and increase exhibition space by 5,600sqm.

The Government said this is a significant new element to the project which is different to previous proposals. This significant increase in exhibition space is designed to allow the state to compete for major international conferences and events that it can’t currently bid for.

Construction of the arena has been pencilled in to commence when major works for a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital is estimated to conclude in 2025. Once final costings are determined later this year, funding will commence in 2023 on planning and preparation for construction.

In November, it was announced that Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium will receive a A$45m revamp as the city targets hosting matches at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Government pledged a total of A$89m for redevelopment at Hindmarsh Stadium and Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in its budget for 2021. A total of A$209m was earmarked to deliver a “a sporting golden era” through the State Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan.

The redevelopment of the 16,500-capacity Hindmarsh Stadium, the home of the Adelaide United A-League soccer team, will upgrade the venue ahead of the Women’s World Cup, to be staged in Australia and New Zealand. FIFA will decide which five Australian venues will host games, with Hindmarsh Stadium one of seven to have been proposed.

Image: Steven Marshall (Facebook)