SCG to be refurbished by 2014 Ashes
Three new stands and the largest big screen in Australian sport will be up and ready at the SCG for the 2014 Ashes Test against England.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell have announced a $186 million upgrade to the Bradman, Noble and Messenger stands at the iconic Sydney ground which is this week celebrating its 100th Test match.
The NSW Government will contribute $86 million and the Australian Government and Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust have pledged $50 million each.
Reconstruction work will begin in March and will be complete in time for the New Year’s Test two years from now.
Premier O’Farrell said the SCG was “looking tired” and Prime Minister Gillard said the best way to honour the ground was to preserve it for the future.
A key part of the refurbishments is to remove columns in the new seating areas so the sight line of spectators isn’t obstructed and ensuring up to 85 per cent of seating is under cover.
Plans also include the largest video screen at any Australian sports ground and provision for state-of-the-art corporate and media facilities.
A 700-person dining room, three new bar areas and secure player facilities are part of the plan and the capacity will increase from 45,000 to 48,000 spectators.
Premier O’Farrell said aspects of the SCG “don’t come up to scratch” compared to other grounds around the country.
“She is looking tired, the facilities aren’t up to scratch and $186 million will ensure this is a first class stadium once again,” he said.
“The new development will ensure spectators have fantastic facilities, while preserving the history of the Members and Ladies Stands.”
Prime Minister Gillard said the announcement was a fitting way to honour the 100th Test at the SCG, starting on Tuesday between Australia and India.
“This ground has wonderful history and we want to honour that history by making sure we preserve and also make this ground ready for the future,” she said.
“That does mean that three stands need redevelopment.”© AAP 2013