Live scores
Live Commentary
Broncos : 20
Storm : 34
| Fulltime

Roof and all: Details on the Allianz Stadium development

Ben Gibbon Roar Guru

By Ben Gibbon, Ben Gibbon is a Roar Guru

 , , , ,

77 Have your say

    A big, empty stadium does no one favours. (Source: Supplied)

    Related coverage

    A much-needed $250 million revamp for Allianz Stadium at Moore Park is being proposed to turn the ageing football venue into a world class, hi-tech sporting facility.

    The master plan is unlikely to increase the 44,000 person seating capacity, but rather will focus on infrastructural developments to improve the experience for supporters.

    Notable features include Sydney’s largest outdoor screen to sit above the main entrance, upgraded seating, quality food outlets, as well as improved Wi-Fi and expanded entry gates. Moreover, a variety of digital video signage and live fan sites will be incorporate new lighting systems to enable the stadium to adopt the colours of home teams.

    Most dramatically, though, is the proposal to stretch a clear membrane over the existing structure in order to create Australia’s first, fully enclosed and naturally-lit stadium.

    For fans, the latter is most significant for improving game experience and comfort. Dunedin’s newly enclosed Forsyth Barr Stadium has materially increased fan numbers and revenue – with participants now able to enjoy a game without having to worry about Antarctic winds. While Sydney might not get quite as cold as the New Zealand south, anyone who endured the Waratahs vs. Hurricanes in Round 12 will attest to how cold and uncomfortable Allianz Stadium can get.

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    Similar to Dunedin’s new stadium, developments to Allianz should see to increase crowd numbers, particularly for families and consequently revenue. With the elements taken out of play it seems logical that crowd numbers will increase.

    Heading the initiative is sports minister Stuart Ayres, who will consider the Allianz upgrade while revising the government’s stadium investment strategy, expressed the need to ‘roll out the red carpet’ to more top American franchises. Also on board, NRL chief executive Dave Smith lobbied for $18mil to be included in the state Budget for modernisation efforts.

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    A similar hi-tech system has been introduced in the SCG’s newest stand, which has already seen a two-fold increase on food and drink when compared to the same site during the Ashes Test in January.

    As such is it expected that a rejuvenated Allianz Stadium will yield similar levels of productivity. Mr. Smith went further noting that “Sydney needs a world-class rectangular stadium to attract more spectators and provide a better [fan] experience.”

    He added that “better stadiums would drive bigger revenues for NRL clubs, which under different deals, share a cut of ticket and merchandising sales, corporate hospitality and advertising signage.”

    On this point, I agree.

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    Artists impression of the refurbishment of Allianz Stadium. (Source: Supplied)

    “From a financial perspective, quality seating, quality facilities and quality corporate areas” all contribute to stronger position for clubs across a number of codes. The project should as see myriad flow-on effects with the potential to lead to cheaper merchandise and increased investment at grassroots levels.

    Rugby League in particular has struggled with decreasing crowd numbers.

    NSW Rugby Union appears to be in a similar boat, but there are signs in both codes that the crowds are out there – they just need to be coaxed in. More than 20,000 turned out to the Waratahs’ family day on Sunday indicating that there is still a fan base that will come to live games.

    Sydneysiders have long been judged as apathetic fans who rarely turn up to sporting events, and if they do they sit quietly, clap when appropriate, and then leave. Like the NRL, I am hopeful that the new development will increase crowd numbers and great an atmosphere similar to the 2014 A-League Grand Final.

    Also, wouldn’t it be fine to sit one something other than those hard plastic chairs for a change!

    Developments to Allianz Stadium are part of a master plan to improve all facilities across the Moore Park site, including modernising the SCG and its supporting infrastructure. Current proposals have the project completed by 2020, a start date that the NRL is pushing for.

    The master plan has been detailed here by Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust chairman Tony Shepherd to The Roar. Importantly to the fans, the goal is to provide a world class sports and entertainment precinct at Moore Park that “integrates the links to the NSW Government transport strategy; and addresses the circulation, interconnection and operation of the entire Moore Park Precinct.”

    The scope of the Master Plan:

    1. Sports Central: This project will link the SCG and Allianz Stadium with new connections between Moore Park, Paddington and greater Sydney. Sports Central will create a new headquarters for Cricket in NSW with player development and elite training facilities; sports university campus, administration facilities and a new public plaza connection which includes an ANZAC memorial and Museum of Sport.

    2. Allianz Stadium: This project will provide Australia’s leading fully covered all-weather venue for sport and entertainment. The refurbished Allianz Stadium project includes a new roof over the field of play, new entries and public concourses to improve fan experience and crowd flow, new corporate suites, upgraded seating throughout the stadium and encasing the stadium entries with an interactive LED mesh, allowing the venue exterior to be lit in a variety of colour and designs.

    3. SCG Master Plan

    Bill O’Reilly Stand: The profile of the proposed new O’Reilly Stand will match the Victor Trumper Stand, offering increased venue capacity, increased roof coverage, well positioned corporate facilities and significantly improved patron access, public seating, catering outlets and amenities. This final stage will provide a unique but symmetrical profile of the four new stands at the SCG, each paying homage to the heritage listed Members and Ladies Pavilions.

    Churchill and Brewongle Stands: The profile of the proposed new stand will mirror that of the new MA Noble, Don Bradman and Dally Messenger Stand.

    This project will provide a new headquarters and Centre of Excellence for the Sydney Swans. The new stand will complement the heritage-listed Members and Ladies Pavilions with 13,100 seats and facilities for Sydney Swans members, cricket supporters, general public, corporate users and sponsors.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (77)

    • May 22nd 2014 @ 4:57am
      Football United said | May 22nd 2014 @ 4:57am | ! Report

      The roof looks cool, will make the atmosphere of the Sydney derby even better and might get lazy Sydney sport fans off the couch and out the door.

      I want to know what “upgraded seating” specifically means because when i did my sole trip to the ground (Sydney FC vs MVFC) the arrangements at the away end were pretty ordinary. The seats themselves (not that i used them to much on the day) compared to newer grounds like Etihad, AAMI Park and Suncorp Stadium were pretty barebones and it looked like they were so close to each other that you were right on top of the bloke next to you. Would be good to see either proper fold down chairs or safe standing sections(which every stadium should look imo).

      I think the major work that needs to be done for the ground (even if it is serious pie in the sky) is increasing the angle of the stands so you can actually see much of the far end of the ground unless your significantly far back which in reality didn’t improve things to much. Compared to AAMI Park where the front or back of the goal ends gives you the feeling of being on top of the game in both Football and Rugby.

    • May 22nd 2014 @ 5:36am
      rarojuice said | May 22nd 2014 @ 5:36am | ! Report

      $250 will only buy a hotdog stand?

      • Roar Rookie

        May 22nd 2014 @ 6:58am
        Squidward said | May 22nd 2014 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        I’ll fund it for $250 haha
        All I want is a membership

        In all seriousness, looks amazing. I long over due up grade for the best stadium already in sydney. Love watching games at the SFS

    • May 22nd 2014 @ 6:47am
      LX said | May 22nd 2014 @ 6:47am | ! Report

      Is this all really necessary? I’ve visited once and thought the stadium was fine. A still relatively modern stadium (80s) with a pleasantly unique character at the left-of-teleview end.

      Rooves don’t really add anything except a longingness amongst many fans for the game to be played in open air.

      There isn’t even a capacity increase, not that there is any need for one.

      • May 22nd 2014 @ 8:40am
        Don't do it said | May 22nd 2014 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        That’s nuts. Sit in a 7k crowd on a rainy night and see for yourself. You sit there with rain coming through your poncho thinking hurry up and lose so I can go home. you can’t say roofs don’t add anything.

        • Roar Guru

          May 22nd 2014 @ 10:49am
          SuperEel22 said | May 22nd 2014 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          How do those Eastern Suburbs supporters cope? I’ve been going to Parramatta Stadium for more than a decade and sat in virtually every weather condition imaginable.

          • May 22nd 2014 @ 1:11pm
            Parrafan said | May 22nd 2014 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

            It is rather unimaginable to have to sit in the rain and watch footy isn’t super eel. Then again us Parra supporters dont have to worry about our latte’s getting too cold from all the rain…

            • Roar Guru

              May 22nd 2014 @ 1:38pm
              Epiquin said | May 22nd 2014 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

              Or maybe Westies are too stupid to know there’s a better option and/or demanding it. 😉

            • May 22nd 2014 @ 1:52pm
              BlakeW said | May 22nd 2014 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

              Yes, you can rub your wooden spoons together and start a nice fire.

      • May 22nd 2014 @ 11:51am
        Bondy said | May 22nd 2014 @ 11:51am | ! Report


        I agree somewhat I dont have statistical data at hand but I’d suggest more people utilised or sports utilised the SFS 10 -20 yr ago as to what they do now, with most sports or clubs being forced or accepting also the Homebush stadia instead. The SFS Is a great stadium and not even really old, the best in Sydney for mine.

        A glorified waste of money..

    • May 22nd 2014 @ 8:14am
      Freddy from Bondi said | May 22nd 2014 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      I’m all for the upgrade, but I think priorty needs to be given to access to the stadium, carprking, connection to the city etc.

      At the moment you cant get a bad seat at the SFS, but the food / drink/ toilet lines are horrendous…plus parking and access is a nightmare.

      By all means, put a retractable roof on it, but priorties these other areas!

      • Roar Guru

        May 22nd 2014 @ 8:42am
        Will Sinclair said | May 22nd 2014 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        I think the proposed light rail will run from Central via the SFS / SCG?

        It really is LOOOOOOONNNNNG overdue.

        • Roar Guru

          May 22nd 2014 @ 9:42am
          Epiquin said | May 22nd 2014 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          I think the proposed light rail will be the single biggest contributor to increasing crowds. Imagine how good it will be having regular mass transit to the SFS directly from Central. it will also allow families in the inner west greater access.

        • May 22nd 2014 @ 11:16am
          clipper said | May 22nd 2014 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Will – the light rail (if we ever get to see it built) will run from the rocks, along George St to Central then to SFS / SCG and on to the UNI of NSW or the hospital at Randwick. Should make getting there much easier and quicker from the city.

    • May 22nd 2014 @ 8:14am
      ciudadmarron said | May 22nd 2014 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Don’t ANZ have some sort of agreement with the government which puts the kybosh on any upgrades like this to Allianz for at least a couple of years yet?

      This fascination with improving comfort… I personally don’t get it. There is nowhere more comfortable to watch a game than from home. You can’t compete with this. no matter how comfortable you make the seating or remove the threat of rain. Trying to replicate home at the stadium is impossible and also misses the point with regards to attending live sport in the first place – it’s a different experience. Wifi? Please. The only reason anyone is keen on this idea is not to improve spectator experience but to ensure that as many people have the ability to bet as possible.

      Meanwhile western sydney is crying out for a rectangular stadium with bigger capacity.

      • May 22nd 2014 @ 9:41am
        Football United said | May 22nd 2014 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Yeah the “comfort brings people in” seems like a cop out tbh. The amount of cushion on your seat and if the venue has WIFI should be the last thing on your mind. A proper roof over your head and a short line for beers should be enough for most. Even then, i’d rather be on a hill or standing on a terrace in my own space with my mates than an all seater stadia.

      • May 22nd 2014 @ 1:25pm
        fiver said | May 22nd 2014 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

        good points. Leichardt was packed earlier in the year, in the rain. Pretty sure people didn’t go to that game for the comfort.

        • Roar Guru

          May 22nd 2014 @ 1:39pm
          Epiquin said | May 22nd 2014 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

          Yeah but in the corresponding games last year it was also wet and they could barely give tickets away.

    • May 22nd 2014 @ 8:17am
      mushi said | May 22nd 2014 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      So long as the government doesn’t chip in a single cent I don’t mind.

      • Roar Guru

        May 22nd 2014 @ 8:47am
        Will Sinclair said | May 22nd 2014 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        It’s a reasonable point! I think the Govt funded a large part of the development of the new stand at the SCG, which has been almost exclusively to the benefit of Members.

        The Govt also funded the new Grandstand at Royal Randwick, which has been a balls-up of the highest order.

        • May 22nd 2014 @ 11:40am
          Rocco75 said | May 22nd 2014 @ 11:40am | ! Report

          yeT the SFS has 3 major tenants – Sydney FC, Sydney Roosters and Waratahs.

          Not to mention that the NRL headquarters is just outside the SFS.

          SCG has the Swans play 9 or 10 games a year, one test match that goes for 4 to 5 days once a year, 2 one day internationals and a T20 international, 4 Big Bash cricket games.

          SFS – has 14 SFC A-League matches, one Socceroos international per year, 11 Roosters NRL matches, 1 Anzac league test, 7 Waratahs Super rugby matches, Waratahs pre-season trial matches, Tigers and St-George have played home games at the SFS each year.

          that’s a lot more usage than the SCG yet the SCG gets the upgrades.

          The SCG Trust board must be full of dinosaurs.

          the rectangular football codes get shafted.

          the SFS needs an upgrade. It’s a disgrace.

        • May 22nd 2014 @ 4:13pm
          paul craggie said | May 22nd 2014 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

          Tax payer funded subsidies to the government’s “development” lobbying mates have made such a mess of Randwick Racecourse that I have cancelled my membership and left it to the 20 something yobbo drunks that they seem more interested in attracting.

      • Roar Guru

        May 22nd 2014 @ 9:44am
        Epiquin said | May 22nd 2014 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        If the government can get a decent return on its investment I will feel better about it. You gotta spend money to make money.

        • May 22nd 2014 @ 10:40am
          mushi said | May 22nd 2014 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          If there was a decent return on investment to be had you wouldn’t need the government to chip in.

          Sadly if someone normally ends their pitch with “you’ve got spend money to make money” then you are doing exactly that spending – not investing.

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2014 @ 11:05am
            Epiquin said | May 22nd 2014 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            The government would be in the strongest position to make an ROI. By paying out towards a new stadium, they get the money back in areas such as tourism and event organisers bringing large events to Sydney. These are overall benefits to the economy.
            Private investors are really only going to get money back through money spent directly at the stadium, which is a crop that grows smaller and takes longer to grow.

            I don’t see what’s wrong with the saying “you gotta spend money to make money.” Its true when you are talking about investment. If you are not willing to make any short term sacrifices, you won’t get any long term rewards.

            • May 22nd 2014 @ 5:04pm
              mushi said | May 22nd 2014 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

              Because the focus is on the outlay not the return (and even then in a counterproductive way) that’s what’s wrong with saying it. By that rationale you paying the GDP of china for a corn chip is as reasonable as buying a government bond. It’s a crock line usually used to disguise that you are spending too much money.

              In terms of the government getting the ancillary benefits sure in some circumstances like if a stadium didn’t exist but I really doubt there is any significant uplift in attracting new events to Sydney city via this (what ones have we missed out on because our mid sized rectangular stadium wasn’t state of the art enough?).

              Are meaningful global event organisers really not coming to Sydney because of the SFS? And even if that happens do we believe there are mass tourism benefits from this?

              Those claims seem spurious to me meaning that most to the “benefit” is simply a cannibalisation from elsewhere within the state/city (the classic in those reports you see on how much an event delivers is they rarely highlight business forgone due to capacity constraints or cannibalised from within your existing constituency) – and I think there is no way anyone can make a credible argument that commercial enterprises in the suburbs surrounding Moore Park such as Surrey Hills and Paddington are in need of a relocation of consumption in their favour.

              So I look at this as the only real benefit is a stadium only enterprise. And I look at it against the back drop of a governments banging on about reduced spending on the essential services that I actually want them to focus on.

              So yes if the government spend a cent I think it is wasted during a time they can’t afford to be wasteful.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2014 @ 5:09pm
                Epiquin said | May 22nd 2014 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                I disagree with how you interpret the saying, as it’s really more of a variation on the old “no pain, no gain” mantra. I don’t even understand the whole Chinese corn chip analogy.

                I’m not saying that spending money on Allianz would definitely be a winner, I’m just saying if money COULD be made from the outlay I’d be supportive. I’m sure there’s committee with a lot more facts than you or I who can make those decisions.

    , , , ,