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Design & Development

Cox Architecture to lead design of Hobart’s AFL stadium

Featured image credit: Jeremy Rockliff

Australian architectural firm Cox has been announced as the lead design consultant for the Mac Point Multipurpose Stadium, a planned venue in the city of Hobart that is set to house an AFL franchise.

Cox has been appointed by the Macquarie Point Development Corporation (MPDC) following a competitive market testing process. Cox has designed several leading venues in Australia, including the Adelaide Oval, Perth’s Optus Stadium, and Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

MPDC plans on sharing a stadium design concept in the middle of this year. The design will be informed by the Mac Point Precinct Plan and the requirements of Stadiums Tasmania as the future operator of the facility.

MPDC chief executive Anne Beach said: “The team includes local Tasmanian architectural firm Cumulus Studio, and specialist engineers and technicians, including AECOM, local experts Cova, Aldanmark, and Pitt & Sherry, as well as international partner Schlaich Bergermann Partners (SBP), who brings experience in world-leading designs such as SoFI Stadium in California.

“This partnership brings national and international expertise and excellence, which will not only deliver this exciting development, but leave a lasting legacy in our local industry.”

The planned budget for the stadium project is A$715m (£377m/€438m/$472m), and Cox director Alistair Richardson has expressed confidence that this will be adhered to. Richardson also said that the previously released design concept for the stadium (pictured) gives Cox “some clues of what we don’t want to do”.

“This building needs to be scaled, transparent, open, something that actually has an engagement with the city and not a concrete wall, sort of blocking off its access,” Richardson said, according to ABC News.

Plans to obtain an AFL franchise through a stadium complex at Macquarie Point were unveiled back in 2019. However, the Tasmanian authorities then switched focus to a site at Regatta Point before eventually reverting back to the nine-hectare Macquarie Point site, which was reported to be the AFL’s preferred site.

Construction of the stadium was a condition of the AFL granting a licence to Tasmania in May 2023 for a team that is lined up to enter the competition 2028. In October, a rival project emerged to the initial proposal, which has been backed by Tasmania’s Liberal Government.

Earlier this week, the opposition Tasmanian Labor Party announced that it would be supporting a proposed stadium at the Macquarie Point site, having previously been against the project.