Manly chairman Scott Penn has called for the state government to redirect its funding focus towards suburban grounds, starting with the transformation of his NRL club’s home stadium at Brookvale into a “mini Bankwest”.
The first step in upgrading Lottoland began on Friday when construction began on a $33.1 million centre of excellence and northern grandstand. An additional 3000 seats will be added to the venue with a view to having the project completed in time for the start of the 2022 NRL season.
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys is an advocate for boutique grounds in a bid to build tribalism, a departure from previous NRL policies aimed at encouraging clubs to shift to larger venues. The NSW government aborted plans for an $810 million revamp of ANZ Stadium, prompting V’landys to ask for the funding to be diverted towards three or four “mini Bankwest Stadiums”, the Parramatta Eels home ground.
“I think it’s fair to say we’ve been open to suggest that a full redevelopment of Lottoland/Brookvale Oval is our desire,” Penn said.