Design & Development

Penrith Stadium set for A$309m redevelopment

The New South Wales Government has unveiled draft plans for a redeveloped Penrith Stadium, which serves as the home of NRL rugby league club the Penrith Panthers.

The NSW Labor Government committed A$309m (£160m/€187m/$204m) to the redevelopment of the stadium as part of the 2023 election, and more details on the plans have now been provided.

Penrith Stadium, which is also known as BlueBet Stadium as part of a sponsorship deal with the betting company, has a capacity of 22,500. Under the draft plans outlined, the capacity will be increased to 25,000.

The NSW Government said the new stadium will transform the precinct into a modern venue for sport and entertainment. A new western grandstand will be built, while the eastern grandstand will undergo significant redevelopment.

The grandstands will be reconfigured to maximise seating with premium views between the try lines. More food and beverage outlets and amenities will also be made available to reduce wait times on game days.

Other upgrades will include new scoreboards, lighting and sound systems, while four new changing rooms will be fitted to help grow female representation in rugby league and other sporting codes.

The hills at the northern and southern end of the pitch will be retained following feedback from 3,000 fans, families and community members. The training field to the west of the stadium will also be remodeled to create a stadium precinct with open space for outdoor community, sport and entertainment events.

The design of the new-look Penrith Stadium will be placed on exhibition for public comment in the coming months. The stadium is expected to close after the 2024 NRL season before reopening in 2026.

Construction timeframes are subject to planning and procurement processes. The Panthers are set to spend the 2025 NRL season at CommBank Stadium, home of the NRL’s Parramatta Eels.

Once completed, the new stadium will be operated by Venues NSW, which already runs several venues across the state, including Accor Stadium, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Allianz Stadium, McDonald Jones Stadium, WIN Stadium and CommBank Stadium.

Steve Kamper, Minister for Sport and Small Business in New South Wales, said: “When complete, Penrith Stadium will be a first-class sporting and entertainment venue for everyone to enjoy.

“The upgraded stadium will be the new beating heart of Penrith, attracting visitors from far and wide, providing a boost to the local economy and building upon the already strong entertainment and sporting culture in Western Sydney. Whilst this stadium will be purpose-built to host women’s and men’s NRL games, it will also cater for rugby union, soccer, live music and other entertainment events.”

The NSW Government first detailed plans to redevelop the Penrith Stadium site back in December 2021. Construction had been due to start at the beginning of 2023 with a view to the Panthers moving into a rebuilt venue in 2025.

The NSW Government later commenced negotiations for the acquisition of the Penrith Paceway horse-racing venue with a view to building a new stadium on the site, which led to the Panthers staying at Penrith Stadium for the 2023 season.