“I think the big winners will be the residents of NSW because they will have facilities they can be proud of. This is not just about rugby league, this is about so many other sports. You will have cricket, soccer, rugby union, netball, basketball … and at top-line facilities. It will be a community asset which can be used for theatre and mini pop concerts.
“The most important thing is the money will stay in the local economy.”
V’landys, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and the NSW government will meet again within a fortnight as an announcement nears.
Previously, the dilapidated Brookvale Oval, home of the Sea Eagles, and Panthers Stadium have been earmarked for rebuilds. So, too, Kogarah’s Netstrata Jubilee Stadium and potentially another site in western Sydney.
The exact configuration and timeline for the build of the suburban network is still to be finalised.
Berejiklian fielded questions earlier on Wednesday about the investment, which has had staunch critics even before the pandemic crippled the NSW economy. She said the NRL “approached us” to say the code saw less value in updating ANZ Stadium than updating suburban grounds.
“When the pandemic started we evaluated what projects we felt would be good for NSW and also adopted the general strategy that it was better to invest in suburban stadiums than it was to invest in ANZ and those discussions with the NRL and other sporting codes are ongoing,” she said.
Berejiklian said the government had wanted to make sure that resources for suburban stadiums were spent where they were needed the most.
“We adopted that as a government, we would invest progressively, not all at once, in upgrading suburban stadia as opposed to investing taxpayer dollars in upgrading a large stadium,” she said.