Cost of new Sydney stadium revealed

A new Sydney sports stadium hosting its first game tomorrow has been confirmed as costing a total of $874m after coming in at 20 per cent over budget.

Sep 01, 2022, updated Sep 01, 2022
Allianz Stadium cost $874m. Photo: AAP/Bianca De Marchi NO ARCHIVING

Allianz Stadium cost $874m. Photo: AAP/Bianca De Marchi NO ARCHIVING

Infrastructure NSW and Venues NSW have confirmed the cost of Allianz Stadium.

The venue which will host its first matches on Friday, a NRLW-NRL double-header, was initially allocated $729 million by the NSW government ahead of the 2019 election.

That later ballooned to $828 million.

While Infrastructure NSW told a budget estimates hearing on Thursday it expected a final bill of $820 million, falling under the revised budget, an additional $53.7 million is also attributable to the reconstruction of Venues NSW facilities.

Those facilities, such as ones for members, had to be demolished to make way for the stadium reconstruction, Venues NSW chief executive Kerrie Mather said.

The promise to rebuild Allianz and Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park was a polarising issue at the 2019 election, leading Labor to characterise the vote as a referendum on the $1.6 billion pledge.

Asked by Labor MPs about whether the $145m extra spent on the stadium rebuild left less money to upgrade other sporting grounds, new Sports Minister Alister Henskens hit back.

“I find it interesting that you’re continuing to prosecute this failed strategy from the last election in criticising this infrastructure,” he said.

For instance, the new stadium had 400 more womens’ toilets than its predecessor built in 1988, he said.

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He also swatted away suggestions the NRL could sue NSW for reneging on the $800m promise to redevelop Stadium Australia – a condition of the competition’s contract with the state government in 2018 to keep the grand final in Sydney until 2042.

That later became a deal to refurbish before everything was cancelled in 2020 as the state dealt with COVID-19.

“That (lawsuit) is unlikely, given nothing has happened for two years and for any specific performance suit, there would need to be a demonstration that a party has acted quickly,” Henskens said.

He was less certain about what the promised Penrith Stadium would cost taxpayers.

NSW expects to fork out $309 million over the next four years, but is still determining the project scope and considering whether to build on the Penrith Panthers’ home or over the road at Penrith Paceway.

“That ($309m) is the current provision within the budget,”Henskens said, in reply to questions on cost.

Infrastructure NSW said it had entered negotiations with the paceway’s owners to determine the feasibility and cost of building there.

That came after issuing an acquisition notice – a step Labor’s sports spokeswoman Julia Finn criticised.

“It is cruel to issue an acquisition notice to a private landholder when you are not even sure you want to acquire their property or not,” Ms Finn said.


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