Southern Expansion Gains Council Approval For 30,000-Seat Stadium
A bidding team for an A-League license in south Sydney "took a major step" toward "gaining entry for an expanded competition" after receiving council approval to build a 30,000-capacity stadium as well as a training center in the Sutherland Shire, according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Southern Expansion -- a consortium looking to establish a football club representing Wollongong and the south of Sydney -- was "given the green light" by Sutherland Shire Council on Monday for "in principle" support for the establishment of a professional football precinct in Loftus and an academy in Barden Ridge. It includes eight full-sized pitches at the Ridge Sporting Complex to be used for potential W-League, A-League and National Youth League teams as well as its junior academies. However, the "jewel in the crown of the proposal" is a football-specific stadium to be built at a nearby site in Loftus that will seat between 25,000 and 30,000 supporters. It is understood funding for the stadium will "largely be provided" by Southern Expansion's Hong Kong-listed investor, property group JiaYuan. The group reportedly pledged A$300M ($235.4M) toward a privately-owned football stadium for the A-League expansion group and councilors "unanimously approved a feasibility study put forward to them" at Monday's meeting (SMH, 10/18).