‘Sharks’ grandiose boutique stadium plans



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Australia Southport Sharks new stadium Image: Southport Sharks FC

The Australian Rules football club Southport Sharks FC (Australia) have unveiled the next stages of their masterplan which includes a boutique stadium which will be one of Australia’s premier sport, leisure and entertainment precincts.

The ‘Southport Sharks FC’ stated that the centerpiece of the masterplan – a boutique stadium catering for 8,000 to 10,000 people – will provide an important piece of community infrastructure, designed to respond to the growing needs of the Gold Coast (City in Australia).

The Southport Australian Football Club, nicknamed the ‘Sharks’, is an Australian Rules football club based on the Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia), that competes in the Victorian Football League.

The 8,000-capacity Fankhauser Reserve is a multisports venue in Southport, a suburb in Gold Coast, Australia. It serves as the home game base of the Southport Australian Football Club team.

The Victorian Football League is the major State-level Australian Rules football league in Victoria and, starting from 2021, New South Wales and Queensland. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association, and has been known by its current name since 1996.

Remarked Southport Sharks CEO Dean Bowtell, “We are excited to be progressing with the next stages of our masterplan following calls for a boutique stadium across the Gold Coast for a number of years. Our detailed planning and investigations have confirmed that Southport Sharks is the best location in the City for this important piece of community infrastructure and that, at 8,000 to 10,000 people, we can deliver a fantastic experience in a venue that is the right size for the City”.

The ‘Southport Sharks FC’ further stated that the venue will be the home of the Southport Sharks senior football teams in both the Victorian Football League and AFL Queensland Women’s League (QAFLW) competitions. It also includes purpose-built facilities for female sport, live outdoor music and events and additional community recreational facilities with an aquatic center, outdoor basketball and netball courts and capacity to accommodate rectangular field sports such as soccer.

Added Bowtell, “We see an important role for Southport Sharks in making the Gold Coast the capital of women’s sport in Australia, and we are excited by just how much the right venue in the right location will assist as our City works towards that goal.”

The stadium has been designed by Urbis to provide a distinctive event day experience and integrate the adjoining Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct and the Smith Collective Village. The location and design of the stadium capitalizes on the central location of the club, existing transport infrastructure and the legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It will be easily accessible by two existing light rail stations, an existing bus network, and a range of other transport modes.

Southport Sharks are also working with project partners towards being Australia’s first Green stadium by incorporating bioenergy infrastructure and a range of smart stadium technology.

In addition to the stadium, the Southport Sharks’ masterplan creates opportunities for the precinct to accommodate additional residential development including build-to-rent, retirement living and affordable housing opportunities, in response to the acute need for additional housing on the Gold Coast. It also proposes new facilities to support business, events and broadcasting as a leading sports tech sector.

Bowtell continued, “In the lead-up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are much focused on the opportunity for Southport Sharks to be a cornerstone of Queensland’s emerging sports tech sector. We will keep building on our assets and the capabilities of our team, both on and off the field, to partner with other organizations in areas like athlete management, data analytics, wearables, fan engagement, stadium experience, esports and media, to position the precinct as the leading center for sports tech in Queensland.”

The ‘Australasian Leisure Management’ stated that the ‘Sharks’ announcement follows Harvey Lister, APAC Chairman and Chief Executive of ASM Global (Asia Pacific) having, in the past week, called for the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre to be doubled in size with the addition of a 12,000-seat indoor arena and a 2,000-seat ballroom.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has also previously advocated for an 8,000-seat multi-purpose arena for the City, based on a design by the Egyptian architect, Mohamed El Brombaly.

The ‘Australasian Leisure Management’ further stated that the latter venues would cater to demand for the Gold Coast to have an entertainment venue capable of attracting international artistes.

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