Three more 'mini-Bankwest Stadiums' in pipeline after funding pledge
December 11, 2020 — 8.28am
The NRL could soon have three new suburban grounds after the NSW Government allocated funding for business cases for the renewal of venues at Brookvale and Penrith.
Just weeks after $3 million was allocated in the state budget for a business case to revitalise Netstrata Jubilee Oval at Kogarah, the home grounds of the Penrith Panthers and Manly Sea Eagles are also in line for upgrades.
The NRL has been agitating for money to fund three or four “mini Bankwest Stadiums” after the government abandoned an $800 million redevelopment of ANZ Stadium.
It appears powerbrokers at Rugby League Central will get their wish after the government committed funding towards business cases to assess the viability of the “multi-use community asset” projects at Manly and Penrith on Friday.
Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the vision for upgrading grounds was to ensure they are utilised by all sporting codes, as well as for concerts, cultural events and local markets.
“We know there is interest in communities to overhaul community grounds so we are firstly doing the planning work to make sure the costs stack-up,” Lee said.
“We are serious about continuing our investment into community infrastructure and the business cases for these suburban grounds will give us the best insights on the community benefits for revitalisation.”
The Wests Tigers will be disappointed that the Campbelltown and Liverpool region have so far been overlooked, but league powerbrokers will welcome the prospect of three new stadiums being built.
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys has been pushing for an upgrade to suburban venues to encourage tribalism, a change of policy after previous NRL administrations pushed for the funding towards larger venues.
The Eels have benefited on and off the field after the Bankwest project; the club has risen up the NRL ladder and boasts the highest number of members going into the 2021 season.
“When we build and renew community infrastructure we get the benefits for the people of NSW,” Lee said.
“Revamping infrastructure like local grounds in Sydney’s south, north and west is a catalyst for jobs and economic growth, as well as providing communities with uplift in amenity and livability.
“Just look at how Bankwest Stadium has become a fan favourite, no matter what sport you follow.
“It’s important to get the basics right with these business cases so we can make informed decisions regarding any future investment into suburban grounds.”
Tribalism is hurting them, there's folk who wholeheartedly support the wests tigers, then there's the Wests fans, and then theres the Balmain fans, they all want to see the team do well, but are never united because of the heritage of the past two teams, one location will go along way to solve this issue, but is it at Leichardt or Campbelltown?Is there a reason why the Tigers can't just play at Bankwest and Homebush? I think they've shot themselves in the foot having so many home grounds...
Wheres the campbelltown love then?Should have branded as Western Sydney Tigers, play all 10 games at Bankwest and 2 at leichardt if they must for "nostalgia" and the commentators to wax lyrical about how good a full grass hill is. They could have then campaigned for a decent stadium at Liverpool or Campbeltown as a longer term goal.
Tribalism is hurting them, there's folk who wholeheartedly support the wests tigers, then there's the Wests fans, and then theres the Balmain fans, they all want to see the team do well, but are never united because of the heritage of the past two teams, one location will go along way to solve this issue, but is it at Leichardt or Campbelltown?
The upside of Campbelltown is the growth area in population and fanbase, downside is the distance and sponsors from where the Balmain area can deliver, but the leichardt ground is terrible for access other than bus and walk from Victoria road, parking is absolute bullshit.. its become this tug o war with their fans for a long time, all my mates are wests tigers fans, if Liverpool stadium was a go, it could be a start to a solution, that could blossom into a very strong club, then there's the board factions.. basically Wests Ashfield own this club, if they wanted to revert to magpies, Ala Northern Eagles/Manly Sea Eagles they could, maybe they should? But the "Tigers" Branding is strong, and fan backlash probably is keeping them honest enough not to do so
Wheres the campbelltown love then?
Ex magpies fans don't want 2 games at leichardt, when there's none in campbelltown .. and vice versa
Then there's the major issue thats been floating around now that, Bankwest isn't their stadium either, its parra's, so again liverpool probably would have solved the problem, but again im sure they'll never be happy
Leichhardt Oval is unlikely to ever get an upgrade as there just isn't enough land on which to build a "Mini-Bankwest". It is surrounded by private houses and the Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre, hence I doubt any State Government, regardless of its political make, up will invest the funds (or expend the political capital from any potential backlash) to acquire the properties they'd need to be able to expand the current ground to be able to fit any redeveloped stadium.
The West Tigers Board of Directors need to bite the bullet eventually or it could seriously cost them in the long run.
As much as i like Leichhardt Oval to watch football at, as you say there isn't enough land for redevelopment, the only section they could even do some work is pull down Latchem Robinson Stand and put in a far superior grand stand along that western side, even then there would it would have to be a a good design with the Aquatic centre right behind it in the north west end. The Eastern side could only be retained as a hill because of the housing behind it, there is no room for any work at the Southern end and not much room for work at the Northern end either, what little work they could do at that end would not be worth the $$$$, also it is poorly serviced by public transport for bigger crowds and very little parking, so Leichhardt Oval looks like it will stay the same as it is, i would look to see an upgraded main grand stand there though.