Regarding the Redevelopment of Stadium Australia, although I am completely supportive of this build, I am worried this current proposed redevelopment is a half attempt in creating a world class stadium for Sydney and Australia. I say half attempt because in the proposed plans I feel this rebuild would only be half done to what could be completed to make this the best stadium in Australia. I have no doubt this half development will create problems in the not too distant future.
I have three issues about the current proposed redevelopment-
In the redevelopment plans, it describes only the ‘lower and middle sections would be redeveloped so the seating bowl is steeper and gives people a better view of the field, while bringing them closer to the action’. By rejecting the redevelopment of the upper section of the stadium to also bring forward and closer to the field, you are only fixing half the problem. I have personally viewed a rugby league game from the upper stands and it is a terrible view for watching rectangular ground sports, you are just too far away. The redevelopment should include all sections of the seating tiers to create a total bowl effect bringing all seats closer to the rectangular field. Excluding the upper section will only ensure problems and complaints within the space of a few years which is why getting this redevelopment right for the seating the first time is paramount to the success of the stadium for the continuing decades to come.
The implementation of a portable or permanent roof for the redevelopment of Stadium Australia is paramount and essential in making the stadium the best in Australia. The effectiveness of having a roof provides spectators the highest possible comfort for all weather conditions, better for the football codes as ball handling in Sydney at night is strongly effected by dewy conditions creating a better spectacle for spectators and opens opportunities for more events to be held throughout the year that require to be conducted indoors.
I have a network who works within the AFL, Marvel Stadium department (AFL own Marvel Stadium), and they have told me that events such as the recent two game basketball series between Team USA vs Australia and UFC 234, the first preference of these organisations was to have these events in Sydney, but currently now the only place in Australia to stage specific indoor stadium shows is in Melbourne. Sydney is continuously missing out to Melbourne and Marvel Stadium (which by the way is terrible for viewing being an oval size stadium) for staging major events because currently Sydney does not support a stadium with a roof. Not only do these events generate larges amount of money for the city, but as they are truly global events, they allow you to sell your city as a destination to the rest of the world.
If you notice the current development trends of new stadium builds in the US (Las Vegas Stadium, LA Stadium, Cowboys Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, etc), they all have either permanent or portable roofs for their stadiums as they know they can maximise the efficiently of the stadium per year more effectively than without a roof. This obviously brings in more events to their respected cities, thus generating more money for their cities.
Having a roof at the stadium, as mentioned earlier, increases the efficiency of the stadium, allowing you to extend the use of the stadium per year beyond the original thinking of just for all the football codes and music events to use.
Reducing the capacity from 80,000+ to 70,000 is a mistake and limits the efficiency the stadium can produce particularly as the stadium will draw more sold out events per year due to the redevelopment. To be a world class stadium and to maximise total dollars the stadium can generate, the stadium should stay at least 80,000 or above. The world class stadiums around the world are 80,000 or above capacity, capable of holding the biggest events be it sporting or entertainment. The 80,000 or above capacity is viable because you can guarantee holding this capacity for many events throughout a year, an event number that will grow year on year the better known and positive reputation the stadium receives.
This original plan from around 2014 - 2016, I feel is the right direction for this stadium. It clearly captures the implementation of brining in all seating creating a bowl effect and a portable roof for the stadium. Although I would have the capacity again 80,000 or above.
*video at top of article
In summary, if you only complete this current proposed redevelopment, I know that after two or three years once the shine of the stadium mellows, I have no doubt criticism will raise its head at these three issues I have mentioned, especially the distance from the action of the upper seating, and the effect of not providing maximal fan comfortability and missing out on major events from not having a roof at the stadium.
I understand the huge price tag the government has provided to build/redevelop the three rectangular stadiums in Sydney, with the new Western Sydney Stadium and soon to be built Moore Park Stadium great additions to the stadium infrastructure. But with Stadium Australia, I feel this stadium needs to be the standout of the three to make this total investment a complete success. Thinking big, Stadium Australia if built to its full potential, can become the best stadium in the southern hemisphere. Due to the large investment, the Stadium Australia redevelopment needs to be something the Sydney community can really be proud of. Rather than a half attempt at redevelopment, it is important this redevelopment is done right the first time and the stadium is built to its maximum potential with all seating sections closer to the rectangular field, providing a portable or permeant roof and having a capacity of at least 80,000. Once the project is finished people with stop complaining about the money invested in the project and will become proud of the stadium and convinced of the impact it will have on the city for decades to come. It will give Sydney and it’s people a huge lift and will assist in making Sydney the major events city in Australia.