A $250 million revamp has been announced for Sydney’s ANZ Stadium that includes the possibility of a retractable roof.
A 3D animation that demonstrates the ambitious plan was produced by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and unveiled this week by NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation Graham Annesley.
The animation reveals a multi-purpose stadium which features a fully retractable roof and flexible seating in the north and south grandstands that can be moved inward, bringing spectators closer to the game action.
The roof will help to weather-proof the stadium which, according to ANZ Stadium managing director Daryl Kerry, is vital to the facility's reputation as a world-class sporting and entertaining arena.
The stadium will also be flexible, with ground that can be reconfigured from an oval-shaped to a rectangular field to cater to rugby codes and football in just 12 hours.
“In line with that versatility, the masterplan also allows for some changes to the eastern and western stands to allow us to present longer straight boundaries in cricket and a wider, more traditional oval for AFL," Kerry said.
The animation also demonstrates the opportunity to add over 10,000 square metres of new development areas that would house restaurants and retail, with a further focus on public space.
“Looking beyond the sporting field, we understand that the event experience for the fans is no longer purely about what happens in the hour and a half that the main event consumes attention on the arena," Kerry said.
“We’re excited that the proposed precinct and concourse developments will enable patrons to experience a full event day’s enjoyment in the precinct."
He added that the development of a precinct plan would offer a variety of entertainment options and food and beverage choices, ensuring the venue will host events "that will cater to all patrons and will continue to consolidate the precinct as Australia’s No.1 event destination."
The exterior of ANZ Stadium will be expanded by 7,500 square metres through the construction of five-storey high spaces that could house a rooftop pool, pub or club. An outdoor cinema suitable for red carpet launches and events was also included in plans for the development's entertainment zone.
The proposal is part of the long term Sydney Olympic Master Plan 2030.
Annesley said the upgrade is an integral step in supporting the 10 million visitors the precinct hosts annually and will contribute to the ongoing legacy of the stadium's history. It was purpose built for the Sydney Olympics back in 1999.
The news comes as the stadium prepares for a huge month of sporting action with this weekend’s Wallabies vs. British and Irish Lions clash, along with hosting the third State of Origin clash and a showdown between Manchester United and the A-League All Stars. The ANZ Stadium makeover will be considered an investment as it was conservatively estimated that each of these three events in July will generate $50 million alone for the NSW economy.
“Everyone who has watched the Sydney Olympic Park precinct grow as a destination since the 2000 Olympic Games should be excited about the vision for the Stadia Precinct. These are developments that will change Sydney forever,” Kerry said.