Council explores long-term future of Sunshine Coast Stadium
  • Thursday 10 December 2015

Enhanced infrastructure, increased spectator seating, improved field lighting and parking are some of the key recommendations of the Sunshine Coast Stadium Facility Development Plan 2015-2030 adopted by Council today.

Division 3 Councillor Peter Cox said Sunshine Coast Stadium was the region’s premier venue for sport and recreation which hosted an array of international, national, state, regional and local games and events.

“There is no doubt the Stadium contributes strongly to the development of the social fabric, identity and values of the Sunshine Coast community,” Cr Cox said.

“It is home to 14 formal user groups across the sports of football, rugby league, gridiron, rugby union and touch football. The venue has been used by the Australian rugby union team, the Wallabies and the NRL Melbourne Storm team.

“Today’s endorsement of the Facility Development Plan 2015-2030 is an important step forward as it explores optimal and innovative use of the Stadium for sport, recreation and community groups, as well as the wider Sunshine Coast community.

“The Plan includes the Eastern Fields Precinct, which comprises the Sunshine Coast Stadium, seven rectangular fields, two club houses and other supporting infrastructure.

“The information gathered from consultation and background research has assisted in informing the preparation, development and refinement of the Facility Development Plan.

“The intent of the plan is to inform the future development of the Sunshine Coast Stadium over the next 15 years and beyond.

“Allocations towards the implementation of short and medium term actions of the Facility Development Plan will be considered in the development of council’s 10 Year Capital Works Program.

“Therefore, in relation to those long-term actions identified in this Facility Development Plan, consideration will need to be given to the future growth of the region and potential for other large scale sporting facilities being developed on the Sunshine Coast.

“Today council also supported funds being allocated in the 2016/17 budget to undertake a feasibility study to assess the suitability of the region developing a National Standard Stadium Study.

“The proposed National Standard Stadium Feasibility Study will seek to position the region to secure funding commitments from other levels of government.

“Thus, long term actions as contained within this Plan will be subject to this further piece of work to determine the appropriateness of the Sunshine Coast Stadium for this scale of development.

“The Plan provides council, user groups and stakeholders a sound base to lobby for external funding opportunities to implement recommended upgrades and improvements.”

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said it was not surprising a Social and Economic Benefits Review of the Stadium found the facility made a significant economic contribution to the region.

“In fact, the review of the Stadium looked at typical events held within a year and found the estimated economic impact on the region’s Gross Regional Product was $12.6 million and 159 full-time equivalent jobs generated,” Cr O’Pray.

“The review also identified there was significant future potential of the Sunshine Coast Stadium and that further investment into expanding the capacity and capability of the facility to host larger-scale events had the potential to significantly increase the economic benefits generated, particularly where visitation was generated from outside the Sunshine Coast.”

The following key recommendations of the Sunshine Coast Stadium Facility Development Plan 2015-2030 are complemented by a series of other recommendations which assist in enhancing the functionality of the precinct:

  • Future expansions and seating capacity upgrades of the Sunshine Coast Stadium
  • Increasing capacity of onsite car parking
  • New and enhanced field lighting
  • Enhancing infrastructure within the Eastern Fields Precinct, including improved signage, enhanced landscaping, formalised pathways and other functional elements; and
  • Conversion of field three to a synthetic surface to increase training and scheduling capacity.