Few Sydney stadia to allow more onlookers


Sydney Sports Venue Operator Image: NSW Government & thewest.com.au

Come October 1st, and major sporting fixtures in selected Sydney stadia can increase crowds from 25 percent to 50 percent capacity, which means a maximum of 40,000 spectators. An announcement in this regard has been made by the New South Wales (NSW) Government.

The decision is based on updated health advice and has been welcomed by the National Rugby League (NRL), which is set to benefit for games in its Premiership finals and State of Origin.

The National Rugby League is Australia’s top-level domestic men’s rugby league club competition. It contains clubs from the original Sydney club Rugby League competition, which had been running continuously since 1908.

The NSW Government has informed that Stadium Australia and Bankwest Stadium have furnished extensive COVIDSafe plans, which will facilitate the venues to host ticketed and seated-only events with more crowds in attendance. Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has also provided detailed plans and these are currently being reviewed by NSW Health.

Said Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian, “Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW, however it is no secret we’re also focused on firing up the economy. Safely allowing more fans at in-demand major sporting events will bring enjoyment, employment and help stimulate the NSW economy.”

Fans will be required to wear face coverings while away from their seat. The strict COVIDSafe protocols will see spectators sit in different zones with different ingress and egress points, different hospitality areas and amenities to prevent mixing of spectators across zones and assist in contact tracing if an infectious person attends the event.

While onlookers’ limit has been set at a maximum of 50 percent, staffing will be at 100 percent to prevent crowding in common areas. The one person per four meter square rule will continue to apply in many areas of the facility. A unique chequerboard seating arrangement and ticket allocation process will ensure physical distancing of participants when seated.

An Events Taskforce is working with NSW Health to examine increasing capacity at MacDonald Jones Stadium (New Lambton, Australia) WIN Stadium (Wollongong, Australia), Ken Rosewall Arena (Sydney Olympic Park, Australia) and Penrith Stadium (Penrith, Australia).

The announcement comes with the NRL yet to finalize where its 2020 Grand Final will be played. The October 25th game was initially set for Sydney Cricket Ground as redevelopment of Stadium Australia, commercially known as ANZ Stadium, was due to start in July.

However, in May, the NSW Government announced that it would no longer proceed with plans to upgrade ANZ Stadium, with funds to be redirected towards infrastructure projects which would generate jobs in a bid to bolster the local economy amid COVID-19 which has rip to shreds the world.

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