The NSW government recently announced plans to demolish and rebuilt two iconic stadiums – Sydney Olympic Stadium and the 30-year old Sydney Football Stadium (a.k.a Allianz Stadium). The public backlash was swift, with many criticising the “wasteful” $2 billion cost. The government quickly amended their plans, deciding to renovate Sydney Olympic Stadium rather than tear it down. However, Allianz Stadium remains in peril, prompting architecture firm Bates Smart to propose an alternative.“The only thing it would achieve is code compliance,” Bates Smart director Philip Vivian stated, criticising the plans. “There’s no benefit other than the fact that they thought it’s too expensive to upgrade it.”
Instead, Bates Smart suggests that a new stadium be built over the Devonshire underpass, over Central Station’s rail yards, a location that is accessible to the whole public. Moore Park, located in the Eastern Suburbs where the stadiums are planned to be reconstructed, is difficult to access for a large majority of Sydney-siders, who reside in the West.
“Central Station is the obviously the most connected point in the whole of New South Wales,” Vivian said. “The stadium would sit above the government’s investment in metro and light rail and there’s already the suburban line.”
The proposal boasts strong benefits. If built, it will connect Surry Hills to the east and Chippendale to the west. It will also further develop the Central area, alleviating the potential economic loss while the Sydney Football Stadium is rebuilt. Bars, restaurants and nearby entertainment venues would maximise the financial benefit of the city and, more broadly, the state.
Thus far, the NSW government has gone ahead with the beginnings of their plan, running a design competition for the new Moore Park Stadium. The Department of Premier and Cabinet have stated that the Bates Smart proposal was “too late.”