The ACT Government has allocated $2 million for a new larger replay screen to be installed at the ageing GIO Stadium, to improve the gameday experience of fans of either rugby code.
The Government has released a notice of an upcoming tender to engage a contractor for the supply and installation of a second video replay board to display live game statistics on screen and to provide greater fan interaction on game day.
An ACT Government spokesperson said the new screen is part of a suite of upgrades to improve the match day experience for players and fans alike.
“These works included upgrading player and officials match rooms to meet the Territory’s guidelines on facilities supporting women’s participation in sport, new turf and the new electronic scoreboard and video replay screen for the 2020 football season,” the spokesperson said.
“The new screen at GIO Stadium will provide hirers with the opportunity to enhance the experience for fans at the venue. In addition to the recent infrastructure upgrades, the ACT Government will continue to work with the stadium hirers to improve stadium amenity and matchday experiences.”
Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson welcomed to the news.
“The Brumbies are delighted that there will be a brand-new replay screen at the stadium,” Mr Thomson said. “Any way that we, or the ACT Government, are able to enhance the in-stadium game-day experience for our supporters is to be applauded.”
The Canberra Raiders said the announcement is “really positive news” for the Green Machine’s die-hard fans.
“Being able to provide better facilities is key to driving match attendance in a very competitive market,” a Raiders spokesperson said.
“The current screen does a job, but obviously a new screen gives us the opportunity to enhance the at-venue experience, which could include having live stats on screen and more fan interaction on game day.
“We’ve introduced initiatives like the Viking Clap and Autograph Alley to our game days, so the improved infrastructure is another way to make it a better experience for our members and fans.”
“Obviously the long term vision is a new stadium, but it’s great to see investment in the current venue. Other upgrades like Wifi for patrons could also be a benefit in the short term before a new stadium becomes available.”
The Government’s plan to upgrade the facilities at GIO Stadium, which was originally built for the 1977 Pacific Conference Games and then completely redeveloped in 1998, raises the question whether the Chief Minister Andrew Barr plans to focus on a city stadium in the next decade.