Finally there is this article which states that Stuart Ayres will ask at State Cabinet meeting on Thursday for 2 billion to reconstruct both Allianz and ANZ stadium. He is determined to push for the reconstruction of Allianz stadium into a 45000 to 47000 seat stadium at a cost of at least 700 million to be given priority ahead of ANZ stadium. This is the option that he has been advocating for, from the beginning. What the Premier and State Cabinet finally decides to do is anyone's guess.
NRL breaks ranks to support ANZ over Allianz Stadium
BRENT READ Senior sports writer
The NRL has broken ranks with its fellow Sydney Moore Park inhabitants only days from a cabinet meeting that is expected to determine whether the NSW government makes Allianz Stadium or ANZ Stadium their priority for redevelopment.
The Australian last week revealed a letter had been drafted on behalf of the Alliance of Moore Park Sports (AMPS) urging NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian to knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium at Moore Park with a minimum capacity of 35,000.
However, it is understood that the letter was subsequently revised to also request that Allianz Stadium be made the priority for development once the freshly-minted Parramatta Stadium is complete in early-2019.
The NRL has consistently requested that ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park be next in line and as such, elected not to offer their support to the letter before it was sent to Berejiklian.
AMPS includes all codes and clubs who use Allianz Stadium and the SCG — the Sydney Roosters, Cricket NSW, Sydney FC, the Sydney Swans, the NSW Waratahs, AFL NSW/ACT and the Australian Rugby Union. It is understood all the Allianz Stadium clubs including the Roosters — as well as the ARU — signed the letter.
In its original draft, the letter made no mention of timing and merely asked that Allianz Stadium be knocked down and rebuilt. However, the NRL was left with little choice but to withdraw their support when it was altered to ask that Allianz Stadium be given preference over ANZ Stadium once the time comes to undertake the next stage of the state government’s stadiums strategy,
The state government pledged $1.6 billion to the redevelopment of Sydney stadiums more than a year ago but while Parramatta Stadium has progressed as planned, the futures of Allianz and ANZ Stadiums have become bogged down by lobbying behind the scenes over which of the city’s two major venues should receive the lion’s share of money.
The powerful SCG Trust have been pushing for priority for Allianz Stadium, a decision that would threaten agreements that have already been struck with the NRL over future content.
The NRL, which supplies the vast majority of content to Sydney stadiums, has outlined their position to the NSW government on a number of occasions in recent weeks and months.
Chief executive Todd Greenberg met personally with Berejiklian while he and his Football Federation Australia counterpart David Gallop wrote a letter to the premier late last month urging the state government to honour their commitment to ANZ Stadium.
That letter made it clear that any prior agreements — the NRL has pledged to play grand finals at ANZ Stadium for 20 years after the redevelopment is complete — would be placed in jeopardy if the NSW government changed its original course.
The letter was also signed by the heads of Canterbury, South Sydney, Parramatta, St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers, as well as the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers.
Several of those NRL clubs are also waiting to hear whether they receive their share of the $40 million that the state government put aside for Centres of Excellence.
It is understood NSW sports minister Stuart Ayres delayed an announcement on the distribution of that money because he was trying to raise more funds to ensure all the interested clubs received some money.
It is understood Wests Tigers and Manly were the most in danger of missing out on a share of the $40m.
The most critical issue as far as the NRL is concerned is the timeline and spending on Allianz and ANZ Stadiums. The governing body are desperate to dramatically improve the standard of Sydney stadiums as they look to build crowds for the code. ANZ Stadium is a central part of that plan given the ground hosts Souths and Canterbury as their main tenants, as well as the NRL’s marquee matches such as the grand final and State of Origin.
Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra also use the ground on a part-time basis while Parramatta will move back to their own stadium in 2019.
Ayres will front the media with NSW chairman George Peponis and prospective Blues coach Brad Fittler at Olympic Park tomorrow as they lay the foundation stone for the NSW Rugby League Centre of Excellence.
A second revised letter that pushes the position that Allianz should be given priority and start to be redeveloped before ANZ stadium.