NSW footy stadium farce leaves giant crater

We argued previously that the NSW State Government had hit ‘peak stupid’ in deciding to spend $2.5 billion to demolish and rebuild the Olympic Stadium and the Sydney Football Stadium, both of which are underutilised.

These stadiums were assessed to deliver zero net economic benefits for the state, according to analysis by hired gun KPMG. Moreover, these stadiums are to be paid for by selling-off the lease to the state’s monopoly land titles registry – a move that will very likely see end-users being gouged by the new monopoly owners, with the NSW State Government also losing a reliable income stream.

In March, Premier Gladys Berejiklian compromised somewhat on the projects, announcing that “Allianz Stadium will be knocked down and rebuilt but ANZ Stadium will undergo a “major renovation” – as opposed to the full $1.25 billion for a knockdown and rebuild” – a move that would save some $500 million and reduce the total cost of the projects down to $2 billion.

Last week it was reported that the Sydney Football Stadium rebuild is in chaos with construction contractor Lendlease leaving project, along with a giant crater post demolition. And on Friday, another major construction company ruled itself out from the rebuild:

A W Edwards’ business development manager John Devlin said the company – which built the Victor Trumper and Don Bradman stands at the Sydney Cricket Ground – had decided against making an offer…

“We decided to advise Infrastructure NSW that we will not be submitting a bid for the new stadium. It would be a large project and we decided not to pursue it”…

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday morning said the government had “until November” to secure another company to build the stadium.

With the pool of potential construction companies shrinking, the NSW Government will likely have to pay over the odds to get the project completed.

With widespread infrastructure bottlenecks across Sydney, and concerns over a ‘Big Australia’ and over-development at fever pitch, blowing $2 billion on this dud project makes as much sense as punching yourself in the face.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.


    • exactly
      after few years of “struggling” to find a builder NSW government will rezone the land into high rise mixed use and give lendlease contract to built couple of 50 storey buildings

      just look what happened to Darling Harbour and Powerhouse museum

    • Sounds like that unsolicited hotel proposal will get up, they’re going to help pay for the stadium on paper.

  1. Australia has only the best world class leaders across all it’s highly competitive and innovative private and public sectors. They’ll have this fixed is a jiffy!

  2. If by any chance the project is abandoned our Sports Minister knows what to do…

    2017: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/sydneysiders-in-revolt-over-development-as-two-thirds-declare-the-city-is-full-20171008-gywl1c.html

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet John Sidoti has criticised development plans in his seat of Drummoyne.
    Days after he stood alongside Mr Roberts at a media conference to launch the feedback process for a plan to add 3600 homes at Rhodes East, Mr Sidoti said he believed it should be “totally abandoned”.

    2019: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/extra-600-apartments-for-developer-whose-general-manager-donates-20190301-p5117o.html

    The state government altered plans for a proposed housing development in Sydney’s inner west in ways that would allow a property developer whose general manager has made significant political donations to build at least another 600 apartments and probably many more.

    The changes to the so-called Rhodes East planned precinct on the Parramatta River were favoured by Liberal Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti, the recipient of at least one of those donations.

  3. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    this is New Sydney you are forgetting and hole in the ground is a perfectly fine result and will be a suitable New Stadium

  4. Good idea.

    Turn the Moore Park site into a duck pond and Allianz into a business park.

    All the square field games can be played at Parra !!!

    Please take the express train home immediately after the game.

    Though you can fight the locals at the Woolpack if that is your cup of tea.

    • Woolpack – oldest continually licenced pub in the country. Used to do a little bit of underage drinking there when a boarder at the college of knowledge just up in north parra!

  5. It is called Allianz Stadium because they own it so they should pay for the rebuild not NSW government

    • DelraiserMEMBER

      Naming rights only…………..

      In saying that, imagine what these bloody things would cost a taxpayer if they weren’t a giant billboard

  6. How much did the new parramatta stadium cost? I haven’t been out there yet but I hear its good. We’d like one of these in the east – I mean if our living standards are dropping with all the crush loading at least give the incumbent population a new stadium to watch our footy in!

    Leith as a victorian you don’t get it – we need rectangles up here.