A former Tasmanian Premier is promoting a new alternative design for Hobart’s Macquarie Point stadium.
Paul Lennon, who served as the Tasmanian Labor Premier from 2004 to 2008, says the innovative ‘Mac Point 2.0’ design includes a stadium that extends 250m into the Derwent River on reclaimed land and has 450 apartments built into its waterfront facade.
The stadium, designed by Tasmanian developer Dean Coleman, is projected to stay within a budget of $750 million and would meet the terms outlined in Tasmania’s AFL license agreement, including having 23,000 seats and a roof – which would be retractable.
Unveiled on Wednesday, Coleman believes the project will deliver “significant cultural and community benefits beyond the economic and sporting aspirations of this once-in-a-lifetime project”.
“The consortia’s vision is for a community precinct that all Tasmanians can be proud of, and which will stimulate Hobart’s cultural and tourism sectors as Wrest Point did in the 1970s and Mona has done in the past 10 years,” Coleman told The Mercury.
“Our proposal doesn’t take up the whole site allowing room for other projects such as the Aboriginal Truth and Reconciliation Park.”
The Macquarie Point precinct plan, which includes the stadium, would cost a total of $2.3 billion and also features 5,000 underground carparks, waterfront restaurants, retail and commercial tenancies, provision for social housing and private hospital, a hotel, convention centre and facilities for the Royal Hobart Regatta Association and an RSL museum.
The stadium’s design also includes an underground transportation hub for easy access by rapid buses and coaches, while its height closely aligns with the Cenotaph’s lawns to maintain the site’s aspect and solemnity.
Around 790,000 cubic metres of earth will need to be moved, with much to be used for land reclamation around the stadium.
Funding for the new design would utilise all available state, federal and AFL stadium/precinct funding while the remainder will be generated through commercial means.
“The stadium comes within the $750m and the cost of the other things is offset by the other commercial developments,” Lennon told The Mercury.
“If you have a stand-alone stadium, the cost is going to be north of $1b.”
“The reason we can get this design under that is because the stadium itself does not have an outer skin.”
“The cost of the outer skin of any stadium is about 20% – we don’t have one.”
“On one side are the apartments and on the other side is the carparking, therefore we can keep the stadium costs down.”
The design has received “positive” responses from stakeholders, including the state government, the Hobart City Council and various community and business groups.