Designs for a new stadium that will feature the world’s biggest timber roof have been unveiled.

Last week, the Tasmanian Government unveiled concept designs for the controversial $715 million multi-propose stadium at Macquarie Point in Hobart.

A key feature of the designs is a its dome-shaped roof.

Designed by German firm Schlaich Bergermann Partners, the roof’s structure will feature an internal steel and timber frame.

The frame will support a fully transparent ETFE material. This is a plastic based material that will offer a high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range.

The roof’s design will allow light in, support the growth of natural turf and avoid the need for large light towers.

According to Wood Central, the roof will be the world’s largest timber roof stadium.

Another feature of the design is its low-profile built form along with a woven style facade.

The choice of the profile and façade design has been informed by the shape and form of the roadhouse structure that use to be part of the Hobart Rail Yard at Macquarie Point.

The design also reflects the marine heritage of the broader area along with guidance from Aboriginal community members.

Other features include:

  • A 1,500-person function room with views to kunanyi/ Mount Wellington
  • A design informed by modelling cricket ball trajectory data to ensure that Tasmania is ready to host the best quality cricket games
  • A stage pocket in the northern stand to support concerts and events. This will minimise impact on the field and reduce costs for event operators.
  • Easy to follow and accessible design features. These include a single, continuous concourse that services the whole stadium and enables patrons to enter from any gate and easily locate their sets.
  • A seating bowl design that will bring crowds closer to the action.
  • Separated back of house and catering facilities with a below ground service road to separate vehicles and stadium visitors and users.

Set to open for the 2029 AFL season, the Macquarie Point Stadium will have a seating capacity of 23,000 and will serve as Tasmania’s premier multi-purpose facility for sporting, events, arts and entertainment.

It will be home to the Tasmanian Devils, who will be Tasmania’s first-ever AFL team. (The Devils are set to enter the AFL competition in 2028 before relocating to the new stadium once it opens in 2029.)

If approved by the International Cricket Council, the stadium could host the world’s first indoor cricket test match.

However, the project has been subject to controversy.

Opposition to the stadium revolves both around its projected costs and the selection of location.

In terms of cost, the Tasmanian Government has agreed to pay $375 million of the $715 million overall project cost. The remainder will come from the Commonwealth ($240 million), the AFL ($15 million) and ‘borrowings against land sale or lease for commercial purposes’ ($85 million).

Whilst many Tasmanians support an AFL team, some are not convinced that a new stadium is needed and would prefer that relevant funds be instead directed toward public housing or frontline government services.

In terms of location, concerns have been raised about whether or not the stadium can be delivered within the specified budget and timeframe given that the site is relatively small in size, consists of reclaimed land and has a water table at just 2 meters.

The project is being delivered by lead architects Cox Architects.

Other design team members include Tasmanian architecture practices Cumulus Studio, multi-national engineering and technical firms AECOM, COVA, Aldanmark and Pitt and Sherry along with international partner Schlaich Bergermann Partners.

In addition to the concept designs, the government says that work is continuing to prepare an application to assess the stadium for development approval.

The project is being assessed through the Project of State Significance process – a planning process which is used in Tasmania to assess projects which are considered to be of significant state or national interest.

Subject to the granting of approval, construction is expected to begin late next year.



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