Tasmania details plans for 27,000-seat AFL stadium

The Tasmanian government has revealed plans for a new 27,000-seat stadium, which will be built if the Australian state secures a license for an AFL Aussie rules team later this year.

The stadium would cost A$750m (£407m/€488m/$545m) and will form a key part of a 10-year strategic plan that Stadiums Tasmania will be tasked to develop. The stadium would be built in Hobart at the Regatta Point site.

In a statement released today (Tuesday), Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein said the new stadium at Regatta Point would bring “enormous” opportunities to the state, with potential to host national and international events.

The stadium is designed to grow and support Tasmania’s visitor economy, and would also be connected to various transport modes within Hobart, filling the city and the state with accommodation, hospitality and retail activity.

The stadium will feature a retractable roof and would complement the investment in Hobart’s MyState Arena. The 20,000-capacity Blundstone Arena would retain its status as the home of Tasmanian cricket.

Gutwein said: “The Regatta Point site spans an area that is owned by the people of Hobart, managed by the City of Hobart and the Crown, and importantly, holds great significance for Tasmanian soldiers that have served their country as well as being the long-term home of the Hobart Regatta.

“The government will work closely with the RSL and the Regatta Association on how such a stadium could enhance the Cenotaph area and invite people to remember and celebrate our servicemen and women year-round, as well as providing a new home for the Regatta on the river side of the new stadium complex.”

Gutwein said that the site would have “minimal impact” on residential areas. He added that the stadium has been designed to AFL specifications and includes a considerable footprint to allow for expansion of spectator and participant infrastructure.

The stadium is subject to Tasmania achieving an AFL licence later this year. It is envisaged that planning, approvals and contracting would take around two years, with construction to take a further two to three years, meaning that the stadium could be ready for the 2027 AFL season.

The state government is also planning a renovation of Launceston’s UTAS Stadium, which has a capacity of 19,500 and is used to host AFL and cricket matches. The renovation would provide retractable seating for AFL, A-League football and other events, while an indoor arena for basketball, netball and other events has also been proposed.

Plans were first revealed for a new AFL stadium in Hobart back in October 2019. A final decision on Tasmania’s bid for an AFL license is expected by the end of August.

Image: Tas Park (rendering from 2019)