Pirtek Stadium's $27M Renovation On Hold Over Debate On How Funding Should Be Spent
Pirtek Stadium's A$29M ($27M) million facelift has been "sent back to the drawing board following a dispute" with the National Rugby League and the Football Federation of Australia over "how the funds should be spent," according to Josh Massoud of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Plans to upgrade corporate facilities in the "eastern grandstand from August have been temporarily aborted." A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers had "staunchly opposed that leg of the redevelopment because it would have slashed the venue's capacity" by 3,000 seats for next summer's A-League. The remainder of the money was to be spent on 1,500 "additional seats at the northern end and new dressing rooms under the western grandstand." While both the Wanderers and its other major tenant, NRL side Parramatta Eels, want "new facilities for players, both clubs have been petitioning for alternative improvements." Parramatta CEO Scott Seward wants the "leftover money to be saved for a major redevelopment that would increase capacity to 32,000." Venues New South Wales believes that a "project of that magnitude" would cost in excess of A$100M and possibly leave both clubs "homeless for at least a year." A NSW Sports Minister spokesperson confirmed "renewed talks would now commence with the Eels and Wanderers" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/18).