Proposal for $750 million Hobart stadium would be ‘good for entire state’, Launceston AFL task force member says | The Examiner

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A Launceston member of the Tasmanian AFL team task force says the state government’s proposal for a 27,000-seat multi-purpose stadium in Hobart would not impact a suggested 50-50 split of matches with Launceston. Premier Peter Gutwein will announce the stadium plan – with a price tag of $750 million, including federal funding – for Regatta Point alongside Macquarie Point in his state of the state address on Tuesday. It includes a retractable roof, and a capacity of 30,000 for live music events. READ MORE: Neuron announce price changes for use of e-scooters The stadium would be contingent on Tasmania being granted an AFL license later this year and was considered a key measure in a 2019 task force business case. Launceston businessman Errol Stewart, who is on the Tasmanian AFL team task force, said the city and the North-West should not feel like they would be missing out as part of the Hobart stadium proposal. “I think it’ll be fantastic for the City of Hobart and more broadly for the island if we can get it up and have major events undercover in a massive stadium, obviously it’s not just for football,” he said. “If we get up a $700 million-odd facility in Hobart, it’s not just good for Hobart, but for the North of the state as well. “It probably is the final tick in the box to get the license for an AFL team. READ MORE: Tasmanian Government announces plans to build housing stock by 10,000 over 10 years “The proof is in the pudding. Go to Adelaide Oval on a Friday night or Saturday night, the whole town is just abuzz and it fills the hotels up and makes for a really vibrant city when there’s a major event on.” Mr Stewart said the task force remained of the view that matches would be split between Hobart and Launceston, with 11 home matches a year giving a five-six allocation, to be swapped on alternating years. Marquee matches – such as home games against high-drawing clubs like Collingwood – would also be alternated between Hobart and Launceston, he said. The City of Launceston has put forward plans for a $208 million upgrade to UTAS Stadium to increase its capacity to 24,112 with retractable seats, and add a 5000-seat indoor arena for other sports. The state government last year announced Stadiums Tasmania to pursue this upgrade, and it would be reliant on federal funding. Mr Stewart said this upgrade would ensure Launceston could give access to AFL matches for the North and North-West should the state get a team. “The focus needs to be on the whole island,” he said. “The North-West Coast has a really strong football heritage and we’ve got to play games where the population base is, the football base, and that’s the three regions. So clearly it’s important that games are played north-south.” The 2019 task force report outlined an estimated $120 million cost of relocating the sewage treatment plant at Macquarie Point, which could be required for ongoing development in the area, including for the stadium at Regatta Point. The government believes available land around the area could provide opportunities for future stadium expansion. The proximity to the Hobart Cenotaph would require engagement with RSL Tasmania, while the regatta grounds will likely need to be relocated. In his speech, Mr Gutwein said he believed the total cost of the investment would be worth it. READ MORE: 60-year-old man pleads guilty to disqualified driving “Our goal is to develop a multi-purpose stadium that takes the best of today’s stadia design standards and trends, has a flexible design that allows for future evolution of the facilities and infrastructure, and has a strong connection to its surrounds, making it a true community asset and city building project,” he said. “The Regatta Point site spans an area that is owned by the people of Hobart, managed by the City of Hobart and the Crown, and importantly, holds great significance for Tasmanian soldiers that have served their country as well as being the long term home of the Hobart Regatta. “The government will work closely with the RSL and the Regatta Association on how such a stadium could enhance the Cenotaph area and invite people to remember and celebrate our servicemen and women year-round, as well as providing a new home for the regatta on the riverside of the new stadium complex.” The coalition used Labor’s promise of $25 million in seed funding for a Tasmanian AFL team as a key point of attack at the last federal election. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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