The ACT Government is set to spend $200,000 on a feasibility study to determine the best location to build a new 25,000 seat stadium in Canberra.
The report will weigh up Civic and Exhibition Park as sites for the new stadium, which is projected to cost between $250-500 million.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said investment in the study, set to be included in the ACT’s mid-year budget review this week, will provide the groundwork for the decade-long infrastructure project.
“The city location has been previously identified as a preferred site for a new rectangular stadium,” Mr Barr said.
“However, given the size restrictions of this site, the requirement to realign Parkes Way, as well as the investment in light rail, the government is exploring EPIC as a fallback option.
“The new work will focus on the existing Canberra Olympic Pool site but also consider EPIC to determine suitability for a new rectangular stadium.”
According to the government’s long term infrastructure plan, upgrades to the 35-year-old GIO Stadium over the next five years were also flagged at a cost of less than $50 million.
The stadium will take into consideration the future needs of the capital, with Canberra’s population set to exceed 500,000 by the end of the decade.
“The government has outlined an ambitious infrastructure agenda to ensure we can continue to provide world-class services and entertainment for a growing city,” Mr Barr said.
“This infrastructure agenda will create more jobs and ensure Canberra remains one of the world’s most liveable cities.”
Both sites will be considered against a range of key criteria and the report will be completed before the end of June.
“The two identified sites will be assessed on key technical and planning characteristics including urban context, security, site fit, orientation, and traffic and transportation considerations,” Mr Barr said.
“Work will include site analysis and investigation, procuring technical architectural and engineering advice, and engaging a quantity surveyor to assist in determining the estimated costs of constructing a stadium on each site.
“The outcomes of the work will allow the government to make a final decision on whether Civic is a viable option or the fallback options of the existing Bruce precinct or EPIC should be progressed.
“Once this is determined, the next stage of the project will involve detailed design, site analysis and community consultation.”
Both the Raiders and the Brumbies have been very vocal in their support for a new stadium, pointing to the positive impacts new stadiums have had on sporting teams and local businesses in other cities.
Similar stadiums have boosted local economies by around $1 million dollars every time an event is held.
Three sporting events at the new Bankwest Stadium in Paramatta, with a seating capacity of 30,000, recorded an estimated total of $2.92 million for the local government area, according to an October 2019 report.
Over the three events at Bankwest, visitors spent about $1.27 million inside the stadium and $1.65 million in the Parramatta local area, the report found.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said local sporting events have increased demand for local businesses in Paramatta.
“This report shows people heading to Bankwest Stadium are really making the most of their visit to Parramatta, whether it is enjoying a meal at one of the city’s many fantastic restaurants and cafes or booking accommodation at local hotels,” Mr Dwyer said.
Do you think the new stadium should be built in the city or at EPIC?