Tasmania AFL stadium plans come with a rider


Australia Tasmania new stadium Image: Philp Lighton Architects

The Premier of Tasmania (Australian State), Peter Gutwein, has unveiled his Government’s plans for a new Australian Football League (AFL) Stadium on Hobart’s waterfront. He made this revelation during his State of the State address at Parliament on March 2nd, 2022.

However, the same comes with a rider – the stadium work will only proceed if Tasmania is granted an AFL license later this year.

The ‘abc.net.au’ stated that the above plan is part of Tasmania’s bid for an AFL team.

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men’s competition of Australian Rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport’s governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game.

The ‘abc.net.au’ further stated that designs show the stadium would be within walking distance of the central business district (CBD), located on reclaimed land on the banks of the River Derwent and encompassing the regatta grandstand and foreshore below the Hobart Cenotaph.

Gutwein told Parliament the State needed a “bold vision” for elite sport and the stadium would put Tasmania on the national and international stage for sporting events – “A Southern stadium supports the aspirations for Tasmania securing its own AFL team, which would be based in Hobart, and will also be able to host rectangular sporting codes which will support ongoing discussions about an A-League football license.”

The stadium would have a retractable roof and seat 27,000 people, or hold 30,000 people for major events or concerts.

In 2019, a Tasmanian AFL Taskforce report outlined the State’s need for a new inner-City stadium if it were to be granted an AFL license.

The Chairman of the Taskforce, Brett Godfrey, said the 21,000-capacity York Park and the 20,000-capacity Bellerive Oval – both in Tasmania – did not currently have the capability to host large sporting events.

Observed Godfrey, “It’s certainly been, from Day One, a key requirement per the report that we put back in 2019, that the two stadiums themselves would not be up to scratch come 2025 to 2027, and so it was either an upgrade or a rebuild of those stadiums.”

Gutwein said cricket games would remain at the Bellerive Oval.

‘Food for thought’

Former Collingwood Football Club (Australian Rules football club based in Melbourne) President and Commentator Eddie McGuire said the above announcement was fantastic – “It gives people real food for thought that Tasmania is serious, not deserving, but serious about having an AFL team in the competition. It sets the tone and starts to make sense when there’s real investment in the competition.”

Added McGuire, “It’s all about stadia, it’s all about community and it’s all about big-time situations. The location, not that I’m an expert on locations in Tasmania, but for someone who’d want to come in and watch a game of footy, it sounds perfect for me.”

McGuire said the stadium would set Tasmania up for the next 30 to 50 years of sporting events and concerts.

All roads lead to new stadium

The ‘Tasmanian Government’ stated that the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor would run right under the new $750 million retractable roof stadium on the Hobart waterfront delivering sporting fans and arts and cultural participants almost to their seat.

Visionary transport options play a key part in the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s bold vision for the new multipurpose stadium at Regatta Point, which would deliver significant social and economic outcomes, and create a spectacular and iconic entry to Hobart – capital of Australia’s island State of Tasmania.

The ‘Tasmanian Government’ further stated that the site would have minimal impact on residential areas and is ideally located given its proximity to the City and to future passenger transport links, such as the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor as well as increased ferry activity on the river.

The introduction of River Derwent ferries has proven a great success with around 600 passengers per day using the service through Summer. The attractiveness of ferries was underlined when thousands of people chose the ferries to get to and from the Ashes Test at the Blundstone Arena and the same kind of interest is expected for a sporting event from people attending from the Eastern Shore.

The stadium would sit right on top of the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor and the two transformational projects complement each other perfectly.

The Government remains committed to activate the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor with an effective public transport solution within five to 10 years of the date of signing the Hobart City Deal, that is, between 2024-2029.

Stated Michael Ferguson, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, “We are evaluating a number of modes of transport, including bus rapid transport, along the corridor and plan to make a decision on the best solution for the corridor later this year.”

The opportunities this will bring to the State with the hosting of national and international events are enormous.

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